Trump signs veterans health bill, but fights bipartisan plan to fund it


President Trump signed the Veterans Affairs' Mission Act into law midweek which will provide over $50 billion in federal investments to privatize a portion of the VA's healthcare system and improve historical inefficiencies. "That is why I am so proud to join the President as he signed the bipartisan VA MISSION Act into law in order to improve the care that our nation's veterans receive", said Heller.

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.

In addition, VA will increase information sharing with community providers and provide non-network providers with educational support to treat the unique healthcare needs of veteran patients.

The bill says, among other things, that the Veterans Administration is required to coordinate veterans' care and to allow access to private care if the VA itself can't provide what a veteran requires.The legislation also provides $5.2 billion in new funding to prevent interruption of access to needed care for Veterans.

THE FACTS: The care provided under the Choice private-sector program is not as immediate as Trump suggests, nor does it always work out much better.

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Offering these third-party healthcare options is essential to serving veterans, President Trump said upon signing the bill into law.

That act also made it easier for whistleblowers to step forward. "By increasing transparency in opioid prescribing, we can identify abuse patterns and ensure our veterans are getting the best possible care".

Recent legislation created to improve Veterans Affairs services has the potential to transform the system, according to Congressman Phil Roe.

The legislation also expands a caregivers program to cover families of veterans of all eras, not just those injured in the line of duty since 2001.

The VA secretary will have wide leeway in implementing the legislation based in part on available money.

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The bill quickly passed both chambers of Congress with bipartisan support last month.

Many veterans have moved from the Northeast to other parts of the country.

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.

As the term for that act neared its end, the Veterans Affair Committee began work on taking the improvement process further.

"I think the move towards privatization of VA health services would mean.less substantial care for veterans", said Corey Lanham, the Mid Atlantic collective bargaining director for the National Nurses United union.

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