President Trump reauthorized the Veterans Choice Act Wednesday, giving veterans more options when it comes to their health care.
CVA Executive Director Mark Lucas offered the following statement, thanking Trump and Congress for taking steps to improve veterans' care. But, the program is merely a baby step, he said. A "quick fix." It does not adequately address the wait list manipulation that is rampant in VA clinics.
“President Trump is upholding the promises he made to veterans and we applaud him for continuing to make them a priority," Lucas said. "However, there is more to be done. The Choice Program was passed as a quick fix to the wait list manipulation scandal that broke three years ago, and while it’s helped, too many veterans still are forced to seek care at failing VA facilities. Congress now has some time to work with Secretary Shulkin on broader, more permanent choice reforms that will truly put the veteran at the center of their health care and remove VA bureaucrats as the middlemen. We look forward to supporting legislation that will let veterans go outside the VA for care when they want or need to.”
More comprehensive reform is a must because the VA scandals do not end with the wait lists. Clinics have been plagued by unsanitary instruments, HIV outbreaks, and even porn-watching employees that were allowed to stay on the job.
The Choice Program is a start, but the CVA is eager for more "permanent solutions."
Trump is expected to dedicate a White House press conference to veterans issues next week.