News Worms
News Worms


Trump extends private-sector health care program for vets

Trump extends private-sector health care program for vets

President Donald Trump signed a bill Wednesday to temporarily extend a program that lets some veterans seek medical care in the private sector, part of an effort by the president to deliver on a campaign promise.

"The veterans have poured out their sweat and blood and tears for this country for so long, and it's time that they're recognized, and it's time that we now take care of them, and take care of them properly", the president said before signing the legislation.

However, because the 2014 legislation was authorized and funded by emergency measures, a sunset provision was added, so the VA had prepared to restrict medical services in the program beyond the August 2017 termination date. "Our district is home to more veterans than any district in NY, and it is important that we do what we can to take care of our wounded warriors". In addition, Congress will now have more time to work with the new VA Secretary to determine what the next iteration of access to community providers through the VA ought to look like. So why extend a program that, arguably, caused more problems than it solved?

Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, who was on hand for the signing, called it "a good day for veterans". We will continue working with our colleagues in the Senate and the new administration to follow through on our commitment to those who have borne the price of battle for our nation.

"Caregivers play a critically important role in the health and well-being of our veterans, and caring for an injured veteran is a labor of love", she said.

Reforming the agency, rocked by a waiting-time scandal in 2014, was one of Trump's most-repeated campaign trail promises. At the same time, he wants the VA to work in partnership by handling all the scheduling and "customer service", something that congressional auditors say could be unwieldy and expensive.

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