There are certain things that Americans have been hoping that President Trump takes care of during his time in office, and our Commander in Chief made it clear while running back in 2016 that taking care of our nation’s veterans was one of his top priorities. In fact, outside of immigration, taking care of our nation’s veterans was one of Trump’s biggest initiatives. Last year, President Trump took some huge steps towards reforming the VA and helping our vets.
The Washington Examiner reported:
President Trump signed into law a bill providing over $2 billion to open new Veterans Affairs department medical facilities and fund care for veterans seeking medical care outside the government system on Saturday.
“This bill will ensure that veterans continue to have the ability to see the doctor of their choice,” Trump said during a press conference at the bill’s signing. “You’re going to have immediate medical care for our veterans.”
The legislation, which passed the House unanimously, provides funding for veterans who seek treatment from a private doctor in certain cases. It also allows the Veterans Affairs department to lease 28 new facilities around the country, in an attempt to expand access to government-provided care. That makes it a compromise in the larger debate between conservative and liberal proponents of VA reform.
David Shulkin, Veterans Affairs Secretary, reminded us that the first year after leaving the armed forces in America was a very risky time for our veterans. This is the time period in which they are at the highest risk for suicide. He also noted that around 20 veterans commit suicide every single day in our country. He went on to explain that this is an “unacceptable number.” Shulkin went on to say, “I’ve identified the issue of preventing veteran suicides as one of our top priorities.” He explained that only 40% of members of the military actually have mental health coverage right now.
The reason this executive order matters so much if because it directs the Defense, Homeland Security, as well as Veterans Affairs secretaries to work on creating a strategy within 60 days to create “seamless access” for United States veterans. This gives them a year’s worth of coverage for any kind of mental health treatment as well as suicide prevention resources, which we so desperately need in our country.
It’s wonderful to finally have a president in office who truly cares about the well-being of our armed forces.