Trump signs bill to fund veterans medical care program

PBS (Saturday, 12 August)

U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks on the protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, from his golf estate in Bedminster, New Jersey U.S., August 12, 2017. Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

BEDMINSTER, N.J. — President Donald Trump has signed an emergency spending bill that will pump more than $2 billion into a program that allows veterans to receive private medical care at government expense.

Trump, who made improving veterans care a central campaign promise, signed the VA Choice and Quality Employment Act while at his New Jersey golf club on Saturday.

The bill addresses a budget shortfall at the Department of Veteran Affairs that threatened medical care for thousands of veterans. It provides $2.1 billion to continue funding the Veterans Choice Program, which allows veterans to seek private care.

Another $1.8 billion will go to core VA health programs, including 28 leases for new VA medical facilities.

Veterans groups applauded the bill being signed, though some criticized the delay and the cost.

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