Florida Governor, VA Director Attend White House Bill Signing
21 April, 2017, 03:53 | Author: Cecelia Webb
The bill signed by President Trump Wednesday extends the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 past the original sunset date of August 2017.
President Trump hold up the Veterans Choice Program Extension and Improvement Act that he signed, Wednesday, April 19, 2017, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington.
"This new law is a good start, but there is still much work to do", Trump said at a signing ceremony attended by VA Secretary David Shulkin and Florida Governor Rick Scott.
President Trump said it's time we take care of our veterans, as he signed the non-partisan bill, sponsored by Sen.
The 2014 initiative ensures that USA veterans do not have to wait long periods of time or drive long distances to get their healthcare needs from a provider and can opt instead to receive healthcare from a local provider.
The program is meant to provide more timely care by allowing veterans to go outside the VA network only in cases where they had to wait more than 30 days for an appointment or drive more than 40 miles to a facility. "This bill will extend and improve the Veterans Choice Program so that more veterans can see the doctor of their choice".
The new law also calls for changes to alleviate some problems by speeding up VA payments and promoting greater sharing of medical records. "This law will take critical steps to begin to fix the Choice Program so it works for veterans and community providers across Montana".
Mark Lucas, executive director of Concerned Veterans for America, commended Trump for upholding a campaign promise to make veterans a priority, but said more needed to be done.
Reforming the agency, rocked by a waiting-time scandal in 2014, was one of Trump's most-repeated campaign trail promises. "We will fight each and every day to deliver the long-awaited reforms our veterans deserve".
The Choice Card program allowed vets facing lengthy wait times at Veterans Administration facilities or living more than 40 miles from the nearest VA to seek care in the private sector.
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