Trump signs law to expand veterans' private health care options

President Trump signs bill to give veterans expanded access to private health care options

This week, President Donald Trump signed the "John S. McCain III, Daniel K. Akaka, and Samuel R. Johnson VA Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Networks Act" (VA MISSION Act) into law and a freshman congressman from North Florida's fingerprints are all over it. The law calls for billions for new programs to provide private care, but does not outline how they will be funded. "So simple and yet so complex", he said. And though Cox isn't the type to brag on it much, it's been noticed: he was one of the people invited to attend when President Donald Trump signed a a new law meant to make it easier for vets to get care in the community.

Supporters call it a sweeping, historic move created to get veterans the care they need, but as Washington Correspondent Alana Austin reports, some worry more is less.

He said for veterans who have been standing "in line for weeks and weeks" seeking care at VA, "now they can go see a doctor".

"The committee will continue to work with the White House in finding the path forward to secure and fund the best care for our veterans", said David Popp, a spokesman for Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.).

The bill appropriates funding for the Veterans Choice Program to prevent the program from expiration, which had been slated for the end of June, according to previous statements from former Acting VA Secretary Robert Wilkie.

President Trump signed a new bill Wednesday aimed at increasing access to healthcare and expanding choices for Veterans across the United States; clearing the path for America's service members to receive services from the private sector.

The law also streamlines the VA's multiple community health programs into one.

The bill quickly passed both chambers of Congress with bipartisan support last month.

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THE FACTS: The care provided under the Choice private-sector program is not as immediate as Trump suggests, nor does it always work out much better.

Noting the current policy, Dunn pointed to his own district, which includes parts of the Big Bend, as an area where veterans would benefit from his legislation.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, Alabama Republican, is leading the group that seeks a separate spending stream to fund the VA Mission Act.

"I'm seeing a lot of progress with health care, more positive news about health care for all Americans", Jim Wingerter said.

"What a handsome word that is - choice - and freedom to our incredible veterans", Trump said at the ceremony.

However, the Choice Program has faced its own set of obstacles.

The Government Accountability Office reports veterans had to wait up to 64 days for an appointment with private doctors.

But traditional veterans groups, which oppose what they are suspicious is a White House strategy to privatize VA, were adamant Tuesday that if the spending caps aren't raised, the agency could be forced to take money from other valuable veterans' benefits to ensure that veterans have access to health care.

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