Trump Signs Bill Expanding Private Care Options for Veterans

President Donald Trump shows off the

Trump Signs Bill Expanding Private Care Options for Veterans

Acting VA Secretary Peter O'Rourke said in a statement that the department will work to implement the new law to modernize its services and further meet the healthcare needs of veterans.

It will allow veterans, with the approval of a VA provider, to see private doctors when they do not receive treatment they expected.

While residents in East Tennessee have the Mountain Home Veterans Affairs Hospital in Johnson City and community clinics in places such as Morristown and Knoxville, veterans in other parts of the country have to drive hours to obtain health care services from the VA, Roe said. This measure is aimed at changing that by phasing out the VA choice program after one year.

"I compared it to putting a Band-Aid on a gunshot wound", said Burch.

The legislation also expands a "Caregivers Program" to cover families of veterans of all eras, not just those injured in the line of duty since 2001.

An administration official told the Washington Free Beacon the White House is committed to funding health care for current and future heroes and said the expansion can be paid for under existing spending caps. This newest round of funding will allow the program to run until VA finalizes updates to the newly-minted Veterans Community Care Program.

Dunn's VICTOR Act gives veterans who need organ transplants more choices in their medical care.

The VA spending fight could come to a head as soon as this week, as lawmakers prepare to take up a military construction and VA appropriations bill that the bipartisan group of chairmen want to use to fund the VA Mission Act's program.

The $51 billion measure, which had bipartisan support, built on legislation passed in 2014 in response to a scandal at the Phoenix VA medical center, where some veterans died while waiting months for appointments.

Pointing to faulty data, government investigators said the VA "cannot determine whether the Choice program has helped to achieve the goal of alleviating veterans' wait times for care".

But the shift to greater outsourcing - arguably the top White House priority for veterans - has been controversial.

"It's getting better and better", he said.

The legislation would loosen Choice's restrictions that limit outside care to only when a veteran must wait 30 days for an appointment or drive more than 40 miles to a VA facility. "But it is not the most cost effective way to take care of our veterans".

The VA system structure is now based on the way medical services were provided from the 1960s to the 1980s, he said.

Story by Erica Werner and Lisa Rein. At The Washington Post, she has written about the federal workforce, state politics and government in Annapolis, Md., and in Richmond; local government in Fairfax County, Va. and the redevelopment of Washington and its neighborhoods.

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