President Trump put his signature on a law Wednesday aimed at helping our military veterans get the care they deserve after they put their own lives on the line to preserve our freedoms.
According to the Washington Times, Trump is signing the VA Mission Act of 2018. It puts $52 billion toward expanding health care for veterans.
The act received bipartisan support in Congress and is intended, in part, to reduce the massive wait times that many veterans have had to go through in order to receive treatment. According to Military.com, the act will make it easier for vets to get care outside the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Before the signing, Trump said, "This is truly a historic moment. I'll be signing landmark legislation to provide healthcare choice. What a beautiful word that is — choice — and freedom to amazing veterans."
"Four years ago our entire nation was shocked and outraged by stories of the VA system plagued by neglect, abuse, fraud, and mistreatment of our veterans," he reminded America. "To those who serve our nation, who risk life and limb for country, who must never be denied care, access, or treatment that they need, that is why we are here today."
"As a candidate for president, I promised to make reforming the VA one of my absolute highest priorities," Trump continued. "And from the first day of my administration, that is exactly what we've done. Last year, I signed the historic VA accountability legislation, meaning you now can immediately get rid of people that don't treat our veterans right, that rob us or cheat us, or aren't good to our great vets. For 40 years they were trying to pass this, but they couldn't."
"If the VA can't meet the needs of a veteran in a timely manner, that veteran will have the right to go right outside to a private doctor. So simple, yet so complex," Trump said. "This legislation also expands access to the caregiver program for seriously injured veterans, because no matter where you served or when you fought, if you were in uniform...then you deserve our absolute best. And that's what we're doing."
"This bill speeds up the claims process, increases the health services, expands access to walk-in clinics, and fights opioid addiction," the president added. "My administration has also taken action to ensure that veterans can seamlessly transition their medical records from the Department of Defense into the VA. It took years to do [before]. We'll do it immediately now."
Trump also commemorated the servicemembers who fought in D-Day on June 6, 1944, noting that they "gave their heart, their blood, and their very lives on those beaches to drive out the enemy and strike a lasting victory for our country and for freedom. In every generation, there have been heroes like them — patriots who answer the call to serve, who do whatever it takes, wherever and whenever we need them to defend America."
"They put everything on the line for us, and when they come home, we must do everything that we can possibly do for them. And that's what we're doing," he said.
See all of what Trump said about D-Day below:
Back in 2016, VA clinic nurse care manager Tymalyn James said, "The fact is that people are waiting months and months, and it's like a — we call it the black hole," according to NPR.
The problem came into the national spotlight in 2014 when it was discovered that 40 veterans had died while waiting for care through the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care system, CNN reported.