New law could aid veterans' health care

New law could aid veterans' health care

President Donald Trump participates in a bill signing ceremony for the "VA Mission Act" in the Rose Garden of the White House, Wednesday, June 6, 2018, in Washington. VA administrators will also have new authority to provide walk-in care for veterans and eliminate administrative burdens for veterans seeking immediate healthcare services.

"For years, Veterans in rural communities throughout Michigan's First District have struggled to access the care they've earned in a timely and convenient setting".

Their effort has run into stringent opposition from a White House still reeling from conservative backlash to the $1.3 trillion government-wide spending bill Trump signed in March.

The legislation's biggest costs, though, will come in new doctor's appointments outside the VA system, which now sends roughly a third of veterans to private doctors.

The legislation had the support of almost 40 major veterans groups, who in a letter before the bill passed the House described it as a "major step" toward the goal of ensuring timely and seamless health care for veterans. "Medical decisions should be made between a doctor and their patient, and that is exactly what this bill does".

The Tallahassee hero says with the stroke of a pen, President Donald Trump better equipped the country to serve soldiers like him when they need care.

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The sweeping measure has bipartisan support and is part of an effort urged by Trump to improve wait times and care for millions of veterans. Previously, comprehensive caregiver assistance and benefits were provided only to veterans injured on or after September 11, 2001, leaving family caregivers and veterans injured during World War II, the Korean, Vietnam and 1990-1991 Gulf War ineligible for this critical support. Rep. Tim Walz of Minnesota, the House Veterans' Affairs Committee's ranking Democrat, described a "stark picture of a VA forced to cannibalize itself in order to pay for private care", with potential funding cuts to investments in buildings, direct patient care, suicide prevention, medical research and job training.

The Community Care Program, which was created by the Mission Act, accounts for $14.2 billion of the president's VA budget.

While the bill is now law - Congress hasn't paid for it yet.

The VA system structure is now based on the way medical services were provided from the 1960s to the 1980s, he said. "This is a truly meaningful victory for our nation's veterans, who will benefit from more choice and fewer barriers to care".

The president said he won't treat as mandatory a requirement to consult Congress on the appointment of members to an asset and infrastructure review commission.

The White House contends that there is plenty of money already dedicated to Veterans Affairs.

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