New Phoenix VA report notes concerns about in-hospital complications

President Donald Trump shows off the

President Trump has signed the VA Mission Act of 2018.

The 51 billion dollar bill is an extension of the "Choice" program which was created after the 2014 wait list scandal at veterans hospitals across the country. This law gives veterans, who previously could only get care from VA facilities, the opportunity to now see doctors in the private sector.

"On the anniversary of D-Day, we're reminded of the sacrifices of our courageous veterans and that we owe our service members a debt that can never be repaid".

The results of an inspection by the Department of Veterans Affairs' Office of Inspector General were released a day before President Donald Trump signed a bill Wednesday expanding private care for veterans as an alternative to the VA system. Among other features, it will also provide support and benefits to the caregivers of severely disabled veterans who served before 9/11, thus extending to them the same long overdue benefits that their Post-9/11 counterparts receive.

The clash over spending for the VA health bill illustrates an ongoing tension between bipartisan deal-making in the Senate, where support from the minority party is necessary on spending bills, and the unwavering conservative opposition to new spending embodied by the Freedom Caucus in the House and now adopted by the White House.

Additionally, the VA Mission Act aims to ensure that veterans have access to care from non-VA providers, including coverage of urgent care.

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"So it's now my great honor to sign the great VA Mission Act, or as we all know it, the Choice Act".

Veterans groups cheered the legislation as major step toward improving veterans care. "Veterans are now empowered to have more control over their health care and more quality choices within their own communities". Rep. Tim Walz of Minnesota, the House Veterans' Affairs Committee's ranking Democrat, described a "stark picture of a VA forced to cannibalize itself in order to pay for private care", with potential funding cuts to investments in buildings, direct patient care, suicide prevention, medical research and job training.

The legislation had the support of almost 40 major veterans groups, who in a letter before the bill passed the House described it as a "major step" toward the goal of ensuring timely and seamless health care for veterans. Currently, more than 30 percent of VA appointments are in the private sector.

"I have a dear friend who passed after waiting eight months for an appointment", said Lewis.

It's expected to take another year before a new single program is up and running. Specifically it provided $5.2 billion in mandatory funding for the veterans choice program as the previous funding expired.

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