"I'm proud the House Committee on Veterans Affairs advanced Dr. Dunn's legislation to allow for the greater sharing of information between VA and state-based prescription drug monitoring programs, and I'm grateful for his continued work on this issue".
The sweeping measure has bipartisan support and is part of an effort urged by Trump to improve wait times and care for millions of veterans. Patrick Leahy, the top Democrat on the Appropriations Committee; Sen.
The White House is pressuring Republican lawmakers not to support the new spending that they say will bust spending caps and rack up more debt.
The VA Mission Act authorizes an expansion of veterans' access to private health care, but the bill does not reserve federal money to pay for it.
It could be a preview of spending fights to come, with the next government shutdown deadline looming on September 30, just ahead of the November midterm elections.
Recent legislation created to improve Veterans Affairs services has the potential to transform the system, according to Congressman Phil Roe. Supporters of the change, like Haynes, say for many that will mean less travel to get their care.
The legislation would also expand a caregivers program to cover families of veterans of all eras, not just those injured in the line of duty since 2001.
"We're allowing our veterans to get access to the best medical care available, whether it's at the VA or at a private provider", Trump said at Wednesday's signing ceremony.
Pointing to faulty data, government investigators said the VA "cannot determine whether the Choice program has helped to achieve the goal of alleviating veterans' wait times for care". It was a key reason the president fired VA Secretary David Shulkin in March after the White House suspected that he was not pushing "choice" aggressively enough. "This is a truly meaningful victory for our nation's veterans, who will benefit from more choice and fewer barriers to care".
Another sticking point is cost. Currently, more than 30 percent of VA appointments are in the private sector. "By increasing transparency in opioid prescribing, we can identify abuse patterns and ensure our veterans are getting the best possible care".
"It is, for me, a huge and significant act in that it will give veterans additional access to medical assistance", Wright told KTAR News 92.3 FM. The care will be judged by its timeliness, effectiveness, safety, and efficiency.
The bill replaces the Veterans Choice Program, which, although popular and effective for many vets, was plagued with funding problems, leaving vets to foot the bill for their care from private providers.