VA tests partnership with CVS to reduce veterans' wait times

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President Donald Trump plans to sign legislation to extend temporarily a program that gives veterans access to private-sector health care.

"I am gratified that President Trump today signed into law legislation that eliminates the sunset date on the Veterans Choice Program and ensures veterans continue to have access to timely and convenient health care in their communities".

The program offers a choice to qualifying veterans that lets them see private doctors if they want to bypass the VA's medical care system.

The VA has been preparing to limit medical services under the Choice Program for veterans whose treatments would extend beyond the program's August 2017 expiration.

The program was scheduled to expire on August 7 with almost $1 billion left over.

We must never go back to the pre-scandal days where a VA bureaucrat had the final say as to where and when a veteran got their health care.

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Veterans were key constituency for Mr. Trump in the 2016 presidential election, voting for him 2-1 over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, according to exit polls, and Mr. Trump made veteran care a central component of his 2016 campaign.

"You got it? The doctor of their choice", he repeated for emphasis. "While it's helped, too many veterans still are forced to seek care at failing VA facilities".

Shulkin will talk about accomplishments with the program and what is ahead for veterans.

VA Secretary David Shulkin said the measure was an example of "how we are making things better" for veterans.

The new law also calls for changes to alleviate some problems by speeding up VA payments and promoting greater sharing of medical records.

The news conference was scheduled to be held as Trump nears the 100-day benchmark of his presidency on April 29. No veteran should worry they won't be able to get the care they need. Shulkin said last month that the looming expiration had already been affecting veterans' appointments in cases when they were scheduling procedures months in advance.

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