Published: Sat, June 09, 2018
Medical | By Vicki Mclaughlin

Trump signs new VA bill

Trump signs new VA bill

The bill's passage into law is a part of Congress' efforts to do right by the nation's veterans, according to Isakson, the Senate bill sponsor.

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 President's 2019 Budget supports a new, consolidated community care program for veterans and all of VA health care within the discretionary caps already in place".

President Donald Trump signed the VA Mission Act of 2018 which is created to expand healthcare access for veterans.

The US Veterans Administration now serves some nine million veterans across America.

"We do our veterans no favors by promising care without backing it up with resources", said Sen. "And that's what we're doing". The VA MISSION Act addresses these shortcomings and will provide rural Veterans the flexibility needed to receive the care they've rightfully earned. Some fear that allowing veterans this "unfettered" choice will open the door to a purposeful and preconceived divestment effort that runs along ideological fault lines and will erode VA's capacity to provide care as veterans increasingly opt for non-VA care. Like private providers, it can also struggle to fill openings left by retiring doctors from the baby boomer generation. VA has said its medical facilities are "often 40 percent better in terms of wait times" compared with the private sector. "Veterans are now empowered to have more control over their health care and more quality choices within their own communities". Conservatives and liberals agree that outsourcing tends to cost more because VA care has economies of scale, but how much more is a question that will affect the spending debate between the senators and the White House.

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VA doctors consult the state-based PDMPs before prescribing opioids to veterans, some of whom have suffered injuries while fighting wars overseas.

The Veterans Choice Program originated in response to the VA wait time scandal during which VA leaders falsified wait times.

The GAO claimed understaffing and bureaucratic inefficiency is to blame for the scheduling process taking in some cases 70 days. "And we got it done". Among its provisions, the measure provides greater access to certain eligible veterans who want to seek transplant care outside the VA system. A successful expansion of private care will also depend on an overhaul of electronic health records at VA to allow for a seamless sharing of records with private physicians.

But the White House has been lobbying Republicans to vote the plan down, instead asking Congress to pay for veterans programs by cutting spending elsewhere. "Medical decisions should be made between a doctor and their patient, and that is exactly what this bill does".

The contract, one of the largest in VA's history, has also drawn concern from lawmakers that it could be plagued with problems and ultimately prove ineffective.

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