Friday, 24 November, 2017

Donald Trump Signs Bill to Extend Veterans Choice Program

Donald Trump Signs Bill to Extend Veterans Choice Program Donald Trump Signs Bill to Extend Veterans Choice Program
Kristopher Love | 20 April, 2017, 06:14

President Trump signed a bill today to temporarily extend a troubled program created to allow veterans to get medical care in the private sector. The bill, which passed unanimously in the U.S. Senate, eliminates a sunset provision in the VA Choice Program and allows continued care until funds for the program are used.

"The veterans have poured out their sweat and blood and tears for this country for so long and it's time that they are recognized and it's time that we now take care of them and take care of them properly", the president said as he signed the bill into law in the White House's Roosevelt Room.

The VA announcement follows a NPR investigation earlier this month that found 32 of 140 VA medical centers had cut the number of families from their caregiver programs since 2014, some of them by more than half.

This piece of legislation will allow veterans to see "the doctor of their choice" and not have to travel long distances to get care. Still, on Tuesday the VA announced it was seeking cutting-edge treatments from the healthcare industry for brain injuries, mental health problems and chronic pain.

Trump had pledged during the presidential campaign to give veterans freedom to seek care "at a private service provider of their own choice".

Trump was joined by Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin, who praised the bill.

Extending the Veterans Choice Program helps to ensure the roughly 1.5 million veterans who benefit from Choice will continue to have an option to access quality health care closer to home from the 350,000 participating community providers. He said more work is needed, but called the legislation "an important first step". But when it comes to our veterans, all Americans believe that our nation's heroes deserve the best possible health care when they separate from duty.