Thursday, 21 June, 2018

Trump signs law to expand veterans' private health care options

President Donald Trump has signed a bill into law that will expand private care for veterans as an alternative to the troubled Veterans Affairs health system PROMISE KEPT: Trump Signs VETERANS ACT to Expand Healthcare
Marlene Weaver | 09 June, 2018, 19:57

President Trump has signed the VA Mission Act into law, cementing the agency's plans to overhaul the Veterans Choice Program and other community health programs across the country.

White House officials are circulating a memo on Capitol Hill this week that slams the senators' proposal as "anathema to responsible spending" and that predicts it would lead to ballooning costs and "virtually unlimited increases" in veterans' spending on private health care.

Upper Peninsula 1st District Represenative Jack Bergman was present for Trumps press conference on the bill today and has released this statement.

"If the VA can't meet the needs of a veteran in a timely manner, that veteran will have the right to go right outside to a private doctor".

Congress approved the CHOICE act as an emergency measure to begin the process of improving the services to veterans, including allowing veterans to use medical providers outside of the VA. Veterans have been able to use providers outside the VA since World War II, but the act provided an additional avenue for these services, Roe said, adding that 38 percent of health care services provided through veterans' benefits are outside the VA system.

The tension over how to pay for the legislation is part of a larger debate over private care for veterans.

Other veterans, like Tom McKnight, would like to see continued improvement of the Department of Veterans Affairs even with this solution.

Lawyer for Muhammad Ali says no pardon necessary from President Trump
Ali, who died on June 3, 2016, refused to enter the military during the Vietnam War, declaring himself a conscientious objector. Trump insisted Friday that he was also interested in clemency for regular people and those without high-profile backers.

Offering these third-party healthcare options is essential to serving veterans, President Trump said upon signing the bill into law. "By increasing transparency in opioid prescribing, we can identify abuse patterns and ensure our veterans are getting the best possible care".

"Without subjecting the program to any budgetary constraint, there is no incentive to continue to serve veterans with innovative, streamlined and efficient quality of care", according a Trump administration memo obtained by The Washington Post.

The sweeping $51 billion plan, which would also expand a VA caregivers program to cover families of veterans of all eras, cleared the Senate on a 92-5 vote last month.

The VA secretary will have wide leeway in implementing the legislation based in part on available money.

Additionally, the VA Mission Act aims to ensure that veterans have access to care from non-VA providers, including coverage of urgent care. "This should help the (Veterans Affairs) keep up with demand".

The bill replaces the Veterans Choice Program, which, although popular and effective for many vets, was plagued with funding problems, leaving vets to foot the bill for their care from private providers.

He is casting a bill that he signed into law Wednesday as an immediate cure-all to long wait times for medical treatment.

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