Trump extends private-sector health care program for veterans

Trump extends private-sector health care program for veterans

Trump extends private-sector health care program for veterans

"VA is taking immediate action to review the National Caregiver Support Program to ensure we honor our commitment to enhance the health and well-being of Veterans", said VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD, in a press release.

However, because the 2014 legislation was authorized and funded by emergency measures, a sunset provision was added, so the VA had prepared to restrict medical services in the program beyond the August 2017 termination date.

The Veterans Health Administration said it opted to go with a CVS partnership in Phoenix after VA officials there specifically pushed for the additional option. "You got it, the doctor of their choice and don't have to wait and travel long distances for V-A care".

In an interview Sunday on C-SPAN, Shulkin said he was working with Congress on a legislative fix to the program that he expected to introduce publicly this fall. Congress would have to approve any changes to the VA health system.

The Family Caregiver Program, mandated by Congress in 2010, was created to help support family members caring for seriously-wounded veterans in the post-9/11 era. "This is a great day to celebrate not only what veterans have contributed to the country, but how we're making things better for them". The new initiative is timely given that VA has on several occasions been alleged of having chronically long wait times.

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The Choice Program will have an estimated $990 million remaining after August, but those funds will likely run out before 2018, he said.

Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R- Florida, called for the president to take up reforms for the Department of Veterans Affairs in the GOP's weekly video addr...

The head of a veterans advocacy group said much more needs to be done. But bureaucratic problems have prevented many veterans from using the program.

"Our number one priority is getting veterans' access to care when and where they need it", said Baligh Yehia, the VA's deputy undersecretary for health for community care.

Shulkin has made clear he'd like a broader collaboration of "integrated care" nationwide between the VA and private sector in which veterans have wider access to private doctors. He said those appointments would have otherwise "lagged" in the VA scheduling system.

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