Speaker Kirk Cox Attends White House Signing Ceremony For VA Reforms

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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.

"Veterans deserve access to a safe and reliable health care program", Mr. Shelby said.

"Those who serve our nation, who risk life and limb for country ... must never be denied care, access, or treatment that they need".

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.

A bipartisan group of senators is seeking to pay for the law by adding new funds to cover the VA private care program, but the White House has been quietly working to block that plan, saying it is "anathema to responsible spending".

Dunn's VICTOR Act gives veterans who need organ transplants more choices in their medical care.

Jack Wingerter praised the work of Veterans Affairs, but both of the Wingerters feel the department has been bogged down in red tape for many years. Many Democrats, traditional veterans service organizations and federal employee unions adamantly oppose the goal of giving veterans unfettered options to choose private doctors, arguing that such a change would starve VA's vast system of government health care, the country's largest. "The decision of where you get your care will be, as it should be, between you, your doctor and the VA", he said.

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President Trump says, "If they're waiting in line for nine days, and they can't see a doctor, why aren't they going outside to see a doctor and take care of themselves, and we pay the bill?"

The sweeping measure has bipartisan support and is part of an effort urged by Trump to improve wait times and care for millions of veterans.

"The Mission Act signed by the president today was very important piece of legislation that will improve services and conditions for all veterans".

Bergman sits on the VA Committee and Chairs the VA Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. Now only veterans who endure waits of at least 30 days - not nine days - for an appointment at a VA facility are eligible to receive care from private doctors at government expense.

The VA secretary will have wide leeway in implementing the legislation based in part on available money. Many local veterans say it's about time. "This should help the (Veterans Affairs) keep up with demand". He said that consolidating the multiple private care programs that exist now should control the new bill's costs.

Supporters of a separate spending measure said otherwise the VA Mission Act will blow a $10 billion hole in the budget, forcing cuts to other VA programs to make up the difference.

The legislation would create a presidentially appointed commission to review the closure of underperforming VA facilities.

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