Trump Signs Veterans Choice Improvement Act

Bill allows vets to seek health care outside VA system

President-elect Donald Trump arrives for the inauguration ceremonies swearing him in as the 45th president of the United States on the West front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington

Reuters

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President Donald Trump signed the Veterans Choice Improvement Act on Wednesday, extending a temporary program that allows some patients access to private health care outside the Department of Veterans Affairs' system.

The choice program allows some veterans to apply their federal health benefits for care in the private sector, ABC News reported.

The extension will give Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin time to develop a more comprehensive plan to allow veterans to more easily go outside the VA health system for care. The new law allows the VA to operate its Choice program until its funding runs out, expected early next year.

The program was created in 2014 after the VA attempted to cover up a wait-time scandal that occurred at more than 100 Veteran Affairs facilities.

If Trump had not signed the bill, the program would have expired in August.

Madeleine Weast

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Madeleine Weast is Assistant Social Media Editor for the Washington Free Beacon. She graduated from the University of Kansas in 2014. Prior to joining the Beacon, she was a Communications Fellow at The Charles Koch Institute. Madeleine is from Prairie Village, Kansas and lives in Washington, D.C. Her Twitter handle is @MadeleineWeast.