Trump Signed the Mission Act. Now the Real Work Begins

Saturday, 09 Jun, 2018

And though Cox isn't the type to brag on it much, it's been noticed: he was one of the people invited to attend when President Donald Trump signed a a new law meant to make it easier for vets to get care in the community. Jim Wingerter, a former Marine who spent time in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War, said easier access to health care for veterans is important. Trump also neglects to mention that the White House is opposing a plan to fund the newly expanded Choice program, which could see escalating costs as more veterans seek the flexibility of picking their own doctors.

The opposition to the funding plan is the latest demonstration of Trump's variable approach to the longtime stated Republican goal of fiscal discipline.

On others, such as the veterans bill and emergency legislation to support communities impacted by last year's devastating hurricanes and the California wildfires, he has demanded offsetting spending cuts. "The VA is the largest health-care provider in the country, and is in a unique position to lead the initiative to prevent opioid abuse, particularly among our veterans". While the VA Choice Program was meant to provide Veterans with flexibility in receiving care, its results were far from acceptable.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan's office confirmed Ryan (R., Wis.) agrees with the White House that the new veterans programs should be paid for with existing funds, rather than increasing spending.

The legislation would loosen Choice's restrictions that limit outside care to only when a veteran must wait 30 days for an appointment or drive more than 40 miles to a VA facility.

While residents in East Tennessee have the Mountain Home Veterans Affairs Hospital in Johnson City and community clinics in places such as Morristown and Knoxville, veterans in other parts of the country have to drive hours to obtain health care services from the VA, Roe said. Additionally, the law will extend caregiver access to veterans who served prior to 9/11; previous to the law, the caregiver programs only applied to post-9/11 veterans. Many local veterans say it's about time. "The decision of where you get your care will be, as it should be, between you, your doctor and the VA", he said. "I worked at the VA for a time and found it rewarding".

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". "I thank my colleagues in both the Senate and the House who joined me in advancing this bipartisan effort and President Trump for signing the legislation into law".

We met with Mr. Garcia before his trip to Washington. The new, bipartisan measure consolidates numerous private-care programs that were fragmented and inefficient and drew support from disparate veterans groups that often disagree.

The VA Mission Act of 2018 will spend more than $50 billion to help expand veterans' options when it comes to getting the medical care they need.