President Trump signs bill to expand private care for veterans

By Maria Clark-The Times-Picayune
Published on June 6, 2018

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.

Trump praised the legislation as a way to widen access to private doctors.

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 legislation was co-authored by Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy, a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. Among its provisions, the measure provides greater access to certain eligible veterans who want to seek transplant care outside the VA system.

Cassidy said in a press release that he is trying to push the VA to open up non-transplant care to more veterans.

Additionally, the VA Mission Act aims to ensure that veterans have access to care from non-VA providers, including coverage of urgent care.

The $51 billion measure builds on legislation passed in 2014 in response to a scandal at the Phoenix VA medical center, where some veterans died while waiting months for appointments.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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