Trump extends private-sector health care program for vets


Veterans Benefits Michael Vadon via CC 2.0 Lic

President Donald Trump signed bipartisan legislation Wednesday that eliminates an expiration measure enacted by the 2014 Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act.

The program allows veterans to seek care in the private sector if they have to wait more than 30 days for an appointment or live more than 40 miles driving distance from a VA facility.

Following the scandal at the Department of Veterans Affairs three years ago that showed many veterans died while waiting for appointments, Congress passed the Veterans Choice Program.

"This bill will extend and improve the Veterans Choice Program so that more veterans can see the doctor of their choice - you got it?"

Veterans Choice was set to expire in August.

Major veterans' organizations and Democrats support a temporary extension of the Choice Program, but are closely watching the coming VA revamp of the program for signs that the Trump administration may seek greater privatization.

Executive Director of the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs, Retired Army Lt. Col. Glenn Sutphin, will also join.

Mr. Shulkin has called on Congress to approve a more permanent solution to veterans' health care.

The Family Caregiver Program, mandated by Congress in 2010, was created to help support family members caring for seriously-wounded veterans in the post-9/11 era. He said that at the news conference he would discuss progress at the VA since he took office on January 20. Major features of the program include medical support for caregivers, who often suffer from health problems as they focus on the veteran's well-being, and providing stipends to compensate caregivers' time.

Presidents change and lawmakers come and go, but The Washington Times is always here, and FREE online. "The launch of this partnership will enable VA to provide more care for veterans in their neighborhoods".

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