Trump signs bills extending private-sector health care program for vets

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump has signed a bill extending a program that lets some veterans seek medical care in the private sector.

The extension will give Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin time to develop a more comprehensive plan to allow veterans to more easily go outside the VA health system for care. The new law allows the VA to operate its Choice program until its funding runs out, expected early next year.

Trump says veterans have “not been taken care of properly” and the bill will extend and improve the program so they can see any doctor they choose.

The Choice program was put in place after a 2014 scandal over long wait times for vets at the VA medical center in Phoenix.

The program was to have expired in August.

Dr. Phil Roe,(R-TN) released the following statement after President Trump signed The Veterans Choice Program Improvement Act. 

“It was an honor to stand with President Trump, VA Secretary David Shulkin and Florida Governor Rick Scott to ensure our veterans have timely access to health care. Today, we made great progress in our mission to ensure every veteran who has served our country has access to high-quality health care. With this law, veterans will be able to continue utilizing the Choice program to seek care in the community while we work with President Trump to improve the program and bring wholesale reform to the VA. I thank President Trump for his leadership in putting America’s heroes first, and I look forward to continuing our work with his administration and my colleagues in Congress so that all veterans can access treatment when they need it most.”

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(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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