Trump signs bill providing funds to Veterans Choice health program
President Trump on Saturday signed a bill that will pump funds into the Veterans Choice Program to keep it up and running, while Washington continues to fight over how best to give veterans the care they earned — but which the government has sometimes failed to deliver.
Approved in the wake of the waitlist scandal that saw hundreds of veterans die while stuck on secret wait lists, the choice program allows those caught in backlogs to seek care at from a private clinic or doctor and bill the costs back to the Veterans Affairs Department.
Mr. Trump signed the new legislation while on a working vacation at his golf club in New Jersey.
“Today is another milestone in our work to transform the VA, where we’re doing record-setting business,” Mr. Trump said, calling the bill another campaign promise he’s accomplished.
The choice program needed an immediate infusion of cash to carry it through into the new fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1.
Democrats have been reluctant about the program, saying they fear the care program is the first step toward introducing more private options outside of the VA’s network of clinics. But Republicans said it shouldn’t matter where the care comes from, just that veterans get what they have earned.