President Trump Signs S. 544 the Veterans Choice Program Extension and Improvement Act


The President:
Good morning. We’re honored to join and
be joined today by some absolutely tremendous
people and great veterans. Thanks, as well — and I
have to thank them dearly — but as well to
Representative Phil Roe. Where is he? What a job you’ve done. And all the members of
Congress who worked on the bill that we’re
about to sign. Such an important bill. I especially want to thank
Senator John McCain and Senator Johnny Isaacson. They have been incredible
in working with us. Let me also welcome my
good friend, Florida Governor Rick Scott, a
Navy veteran who’s here with us to represent more
than a million veterans from the state of Florida. We’re also joined by the
leaders of a number of veterans’ groups. I want to thank all of
them for being here and all of the tremendous and
important work that they do. We would not be here if it
weren’t for them, I can tell you that. Finally, I want to thank
our Secretary of the VA, David Shulkin, who, by the
way, was approved with a vote of 100 to nothing. That’s shocking, right? (Laughter.) One hundred to nothing, Rick. Now, you wouldn’t be
getting 100 to nothing. (Laughter.) We met earlier today in the Oval Office, and Secretary Shulkin updated me on the massive and chronic challenge he inherited at the VA, but also the great progress that he is making. He’s got a group of people
that are phenomenal at the It’s one of my most
important things. I’ve been telling all of
our friends at speeches and rallies for two years
about the VA, how we’re going to turn it around. And we’re doing that. And, actually, next week,
on Thursday at 2 o’clock, we’re going to have a news
conference with David and some others to tell
you about all of the tremendous things that are
happening at the VA and what we’ve done in terms of progress and achievement. The veterans have poured
out their sweat and blood and tears for this country
for so long, and it’s time that they’re recognized,
and it’s time that we now take care of them, and take care of them properly. That’s why I’m pleased
today to sign into law the Veterans Choice Program
Improvement Act. So, this is called the
Choice Program Improvement Act. It speaks for itself. This bill will extend
and improve the Veterans Choice Program so that
more veterans can see the doctor of their
choice — you got it? The doctor of their choice — and don’t have to wait and travel long
distances for VA care. Some people have to travel
five hours, eight hours, and they’ll have to do it
on a weekly basis, and even worse than that. It’s not going to
happen anymore. This new law is a good
start, but there is still much work to do. We will fight each and
every day to deliver the long-awaited reforms our
veterans deserve, and to protect those who have so
courageously protected each and every one of us. So, we’ve made a lot of
strides for the veterans. These are, like, the most
incredible people we have in our country as far as
I’m concerned, and they have not been taken
care of properly. I want to thank David. You’ve done an
incredible job. And you’re going to see
some of that on Thursday. So, thank you
all very much. And we’re going
to sign this. And I think I’m going to
have to give this pen — the way I look at it, we
should probably give it to Phil. What do you think? Male Speaker: I agree. The President: Does
everybody agree? I think Phil is — Representative Roe: I’ll agree with that. (Laughter.) The President: Phil agrees. But congratulations, everybody. Really fantastic. Thank you very much. (Applause.) Phil, maybe you could say
a few words, if you’d like. Representative Roe: Well,
Mr. President, thank you very much. And this was a very, very
important bill to get started with so we can get
Choice 2.0 to get to the place exactly where the President said he wanted to be. And it’s a privilege to
work with all of these great people up here to
help make the VA better. I’ve spent the last week on the break going to Los Angeles and Phoenix to get a firsthand view of what’s going on. And what we want to do is
put the veteran in charge of these choices,
not the bureaucracy. And I think Dr. Shulkin is just the person to see that happen. Mr. President,
thank you so much. The President:
Thank you very much. It’s fantastic. And David? Where’s David? Secretary Shulkin: Yeah, I’m right behind you, Mr. President. The President: Go ahead. I won’t look back. You just talk. (Laughter.) Secretary Shulkin: Well, first of all, I want to thank everybody here as well, and thank Congress for
seeing this done, and Mr. President to
be signing this. This is a good
day for veterans. This is a great day to
celebrate not only what veterans have contributed
to the country, but how we’re making things
better for them. And by working together, we’re going to continue this progress. I think, as the President
said, we’re actually going to do this a week from
Thursday, Mr. President — The President: Right. Secretary Shulkin: — and
talk about the tremendous accomplishments, but most
importantly, about the great things that are
to come to fulfill the President’s commitments
that he made to veterans. And so, thank you all
for being here today. The President: Thank you. Great job. So, again, next week, on
Thursday, at 2 o’clock — it may change a little
bit, but about that time we’re going to have a
conference to talk about the progress and
the achievement. I’d like to ask Rick
Scott, the governor of Florida — he’s done a
fantastic job as governor, by the way, and really
understands this subject, and really understands
a lot of subjects. Rick, do you want
to say a few words? Governor Scott: Sure. Well, I was really proud. My father was in the 82nd
Airborne, he did all the combat jumps, and I grew
up listening to all his stories about the war. I had the opportunity
to serve in the Navy. Unfortunately, in 2014, I had to sue the VA because we had — our state healthcare agency couldn’t go inspect their hospitals when we heard all the stories about deaths, delays, and poor conditions. And so, Mr. President and
I want to thank Congress for doing this to create
certainty of care while we figure out how to
fix the VA system. And David, I want to thank
you for what you’re doing. You’ve got actually the
right background to do this. I know President Trump
has been focused on our veterans and our military
before he was President, and I know he’s going to
continue to do a great job. We have 1.5
million veterans. I want them all to
move to Florida. (Laughter.) But thank you for doing this, Mr. President. The President:
Thank you very much. Most importantly, thank you, thank all of the great veterans. Would you like to say
something to all of these people out there? You’ll become a
movie star tomorrow. (Laughter.) Male Speaker: Well, our nation will be judged by how it treats its veterans, and I’m sure our country will allow generations — right now, they’re children, but they’re going to be our future service members. And so, we have to
treat veterans well. It’s about national
security, it’s about patriotism, and this is
a great step forward to doing it. The President:
Thank you very much. Nobody can say it better than that, so we’re going to end. But I want to just
thank you all. Thank you for being here. Thank you. (Applause.)

100 thoughts on “President Trump Signs S. 544 the Veterans Choice Program Extension and Improvement Act

  1. IMHO, President Trump will be in the Oval Office for 2 solid terms! In only his 1st 90 days, he's already done so much to improve our country!

  2. Finally !  It is shame to see the great country of ours that forgot about people who have been helping to keep our freedom.  Now the time that we will see a lot of improvements to say ' Thank you for your service and sacrifices' to our veterans.

  3. самая лучшая защита для меня  — это деньги. Просто дай денег, я приеду в США, куплю на них домик и … сам себя защищу и возможно …  вас.

    Проблема только в том, что я в Крыму под колпаком ФСБ !!!

  4. I am not for war,but since we have wars,we better take care of the people that come back sacrificing everything they have got to perserve our freedoms

  5. Please, reamber Chetniks, Serb, etc. which were saved American pilots, special General Draža Mihailović (from II w.w.w.).

  6. reading these comments proves how stupid these Trump supporters are and also proves NONE of U have EVER SERVED IN THE MILITARY. I am a 21yr USARMY veteran and we where awarded this benefit in 2014. This ignorant con man just fooled U with a "ceremony" of a benefit that was ALREADY part of our healthcare. U dont have to do a 'bill' or 'extension' of a benefit UNLESS ITS BEING CONSIDERED FOR A REPEAL. This clown in chief and his political team are experts at deceiving LOW INFORMATION VOTERS ON SUBJECTS THAT THEY HAVE NO KNOWLEDGE ON PERSONALLY OR BY DOING THEIR OWN RESEARCH. As a retired military veteran this type of "bait and switch" is hard to watch.

  7. My question is, what does this bill S.544 do for veterans who live outside the U.S.? I'm considered 100% percent disabled because I had two neck surgeries so I qualified for a Veteran's Pension, and I lived on that for 6 years. Then in 1997 I received a 70% percent rating for PTSD which they combined with the Pension rating and awarded me 100% compensation. Since I now reside in the Philippines, I am not treated the same as a 100% disabled veteran, as I only receive care for "service-connected" disabilities. So if I break a bone, get Pneumonia or some other disease, or need a neurosurgeon for my neck and back condition, I have to pay for it out of pocket and I'm not reimbursed for it!

    We have the only "Out Patiernt" clinic outside of the U.S., but we have no VA hospital, so they only cover service connected disabilities. So we have no Eye care or Dental care or anything for that matter unless it is service conneected. I have filed claims for my neck and back (Degenerative Disc Disease and Arthritis) because of ( Agent Orange) in Vietnam 1970-72, and I was also stationed at Camp LeJune, N.C. for 4 months in 1970, with the poisoned well water there!

    So what now?
    Semper Fi

  8. Thank you, my friend's mother is a gulf war vet and and problems with transportation and needed to get her meds weekly. Is there a site with a more detailed view on the act?

  9. Such an awesome, genuine, intelligent, caring PRO-ACTIVE man.. we got so lucky. Now let's hope the ball rolls true through the implementation of all his executive orders. Speaking of True – get rid of Ryan, Mr. Know-it-all Saboteurof the President.

  10. This is genuinely a man who understands respect and honor. President Donald J. Trump is, by far, the best man for this job and I applaud the American people for making this choice for all of us.

  11. The Choice Program is a great program – I am part of it myself. Thank you, Mr. President, for remembering us by upgrading this great program! God Bless you and all who were involved.

  12. I feel great sorrow for the vast numbers of the American people who are being lied to and ignored every single day by the main stream media. Many people will be kept in the dark not knowing what fantastic improvements are being made by our President. God bless the People of the United States and God bless our President.

  13. If he can't see the chemtrails/geo engineering by plane and all of them say it's not real, if someone shot the fake plane down it wouldn't be real either right?

  14. Thank you for backing not just our veterans but strengthening our military. Obama really did all he could to ruin our defenses.

  15. What makes this so great? What exactly has Trump done to make him so great? I honestly would like to know. So far I see him "doing things" that don't do diddly. So far his meetings with Foreign sovereigns has been just luke warm, his getting to businesses to stay in the US is a joke (we're paying for them to stay!). So just what exactly has he done?

  16. I need signature for this. When collapses USSR my father died. After 7 years like a soldier in NATO i understand USSR was destroyed. Life with out social guaranties and parents, and school with a fucking teachers materialistic those problems. I got shit education with highest IQ and 9 languages like your best CIA geniuses. I need that documentary approve. China language was easy. Thanks for attention Mr. President.

  17. Great, but now take away the PTSD payment system being abused by some. Provide all the medical help they need. Removing the PTSD payments will flush out the abusers and frauds.

  18. OK this is awesome again. Thank you God Almighty thank you Jesus Christ for sending this president Donald Trump to the White House. We give you thanks glory honor. For our wonderful president Donald Trump

  19. pain management should not be controlled by the psych ward in VAs. in civilian world in managed by pain management specialist physicians. the number of vet suicides is increased because of the mismanagement.  TBIs are not supposed to be placed on sychotropic drugs, yet the VA constantly does that.  I believe Dr. Carson could explain what I mean by this.  thank you for your efforts to MAGA President Trump.  I appreciate your work.  God bless you and your amin

  20. I a disabled veteran,Hire more qualified nurses,doctors,and techs.,you have a freeze on that area at VA,so make is simple and fix it,about we get great care.

  21. To all of the people who are thanking Trump, maybe you don't know this, but this isn't his idea. This program was started 3 years ago by the Veterans Affairs committee. Long before Trump was president.  If you want to thank someone, thank Congressman Jeff Miller and that committee for getting this done.  The program was a pilot program due to run out in 3 years or when the money was gone, which ever came first.  The previous VA Secretary McDonald wanted congress to stop the program and reallocate the funds back into the VA.  Jeff Miller told him, that wasn't going to happen. He even said we are going to allocate more money to it. It was scheduled to end in August this year. But thanks to Congress, not Trump, it was voted on and passed unanimously to be extended.  But from what I hear, that may only be for a few more months. Since they voted to continue it, but did not allocate any funds for it.  As for Trumps comments about you can see the doctor of your choice, that is not accurate either. How do I know this, because I have been using this program.   You only get to see the doctor you want if they participate in the program and take the card.  The veteran still has to call the Choice Card people and get authorization before they see the doctor.  So again Trump is misleading people and taking credit for something he had nothing to do with.  Yes, he signed the bill into law, that was passed in the congress.  He is making a misleading statement when he said you get to see the doctor of your choice.  He will have veterans thinking that they can go to any doctor they choose. That isn't true.  While this program has been a blessing to me, to not have to travel for hours, with my disabilities and age, if Trump really wanted to help he would get the Veterans Affairs to let the veterans use their VA card and go to any doctor that takes Medicare.  That would solve a lot of issues. That way the veterans wouldn't still have to go thru getting authorization to see doctors, that only take the Choice card or participate with the program.

  22. Thank you, Mr. President…maybe now i will be allowed to enroll in VA care. They allowed my husband, but not me. Something about "too much money???"

  23. God Bless You President Donald Trump for signing the S. 544 the Veterans Choice Program Extension and Improvement Act. Our veteran son can now receive the help he needs and deserves without battling the bureaucracy and B* the VA system has been fraught with!!! Thank you so very much!!!

  24. After 2 years of trying, my husband was finally accepted into the V.A. It will help us SO much. Thank You President Trump for helping our Vets. We are blessed to have a V.a about 45 minutes away, and we can WALK to Portsmouth Naval Medical Center. Thank You SO much again…

  25. I wish President Trump the best in his 2 terms of Presidential power. He can have the greatest impact of any modern era President if he can eliminate all remnants of Obama care from the nation and simplify the tax code to reduce number of IRS employees and bring about resurgent economy. Good Luck President Donald J Trump

  26. THANK YOU MR President, I'm a veteran and can't get any health care from VA. I'm on medicare. I was disabled when I was 54, but VA wouldn't even let me in the door.

    I salute the VA, salute-eatshit

  27. "To serve those willing to give their last full measure of devotion for their country!"(Abraham Lincoln) That is what this video shows me! That is keeping with the founding fathers views. What a blessing we have with our great President Donald J. Trump and all the wonderful supporters that made this happen. Well done sir, well done! Please continue to improve all other areas not just medical in regards to our veterans and active duty personnel! You are setting the standard for future presidents to come!

  28. I am speechless Mr President, thank you so much.
    Was a pleasure to serve my country, and was a pleasure to vote for this great man. God Bless America

  29. Like my brothers-in-arms , THIS PRESIDENT is wide awake and ON THE JOB . This is what a REAL commander-in-chief looks like . ''Murica'' is dead . Long live ''AMERICA'' , and god bless ''MY'' president .

  30. Thank you President Trump and all of the people working for the USA who are really helping America. It is tremendous to feel so good to have a Real Leader who we can trust and admire and feel good that America will be back to the happy working America we had in the 1950-60-70s! What is Remarkable that You are donating your Paycheck. I am in Awe of your work and generousity. Thank You so VERY MUCH

  31. Thank you. It will be great to not have to travel so far with so many breaks in my back + TBI. THANK YOU again, Sir!

  32. This I can agree on. Sadly our Veterans were tricked into the "planned wars" and have suffered greatly in the games of the NWO including the agent orange used on so many of them and many have already died.

  33. MR.PRESIDENT THANK YOU FOR PROTECTING THE VETERANS OF AMERICA IT IS ONE OF THE MOST OUTSTANDING BILLS THAT NEEDED SIGNED AND A LONG TIME COMING. EXCELLANT😇

  34. Thank you Mr. President from a grateful U.S. Navy veteran 1996-2002.  I personally appreciate your support for our community.  Thank you also to supportive Senators and Representatives.

  35. We need to drain the VA swamp. The goal of the VA up to now has been to appear to be helping veterans but in reality the goal seems to be saving money. I hope President Trump will continue to improve the broken VA system. I love what he has done so far. Much more is needed, however.

  36. God Bless You, President Trump. I've had to wait 90 days to get a simple SHOT!! The West LA VA delays, delays treatments.

  37. thank you but many many va facilities will just still not utilize this program as they get bonus for cost saving and it isnt a good thing if they see us out to areas close to us in rural america, so they say we have to drive one to three hours one way still for care, and why? because if they see us out through the program that goes as a hit on the facility and the more they use it the more they dont get their perks. also it isnt a choice for us… it still has to be permitted and authorized by the va and they can drag their feet on that, and say well if you can be seen in a va hospital then why see you out.. so what if you have to drive far. also the billing is a nightmare. we get bills all the time for an accident where i was hurt and the emts took me to two facilities it has been a nightmare.

  38. Can't understand why Choice needs more money. Not like there paying anyone's doctor. Congress has been working almost a year to get my doctor paid, that Choice approved for a service connected procedure.
    That cash is gettin diverted.

  39. Obviously, none who have commented have used the Choice Program.  To use it one must not be able to see a doctor 30 days out and the program excludes all veterans if there is within 40 miles of the veteran a clinic which can't even administer stitches.  It is always a fight as it was for me and my brother, both of us Vietnam veterans, unlike our draft dodger president who talks a lot but doesn't walk the walk.  He is disruptive and vulgar and a shameful figure to hold office.  We hope he will be replaced, but then we'll have that religious fanatic of a VP as president; after Pence it would be heartless Ryan.  Welcome to Trump's America.  The program needs honing and I don't see that happening.

  40. FATHER AMERICAN MOTHER AMERICAN IAM YES WASHNTON IAM YES PAS PORD AMERICAN IAM NO MUSLIM IAM YES MASIH IAM YES KRYSTYAN

  41. Why does Trump lie so much?? Why do Americans believe anything he says??? Unbelievable https://www.news.com.au/finance/work/leaders/the-weird-lie-donald-trump-has-repeated-more-than-80-times/news-story/a66341e66ed6c95c759ce00f93388650

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