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CVA Statement on Signing of Choice Act Extension

By Concerned Veterans for America

Arlington, VA – Today President Trump signed a reauthorization and extension of the Veterans Choice Act, which was passed by the Senate earlier this month. Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) Executive Director Mark Lucas attended the signing ceremony.

Lucas issued the following statement:

President Trump is upholding the promises he made to veterans and we applaud him for continuing to make them a priority. 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.”

For years, CVA has proposed the creation of a government-chartered non-profit to oversee the distribution of health care benefits at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). This entity would empower veterans to use these benefits at his or her own discretion – inside or outside of the VA.

President Trump has supported meaningful choice reforms since his time on the campaign trail, and it was included as a priority in his 10-point plan to fix the VA. New VA Secretary Shulkin has also been outspoken about the need for broader and more permanent choice reforms – just last weekend, he stated that he’s “working with Congress to redesign a better, improved way of accessing care” and that he’s aiming for “early fall” to introduce that plan.