The Veteran Administration’s hospitals have received their highest approval ratings ever because of the Veterans Choice program that reimburses private doctor visits, U.S. President Donald J. Trump told reporters on Sunday.
Speaking in the daily Corona Virus pandemic press conference at the White House, President Trump listed the improvements made under his administration, but the biggest impact was from new rules to allow veterans to seek private doctors if the wait at the VA is too long.
“I was just told by our great leader at the VA, Robert Wilkie, he said for the first time we get the highest marks in the history, highest poll numbers in the history of the veteran’s administration came out a week ago that they’re happy.”
“And look, one of the reasons that happened, highest in history, one of the reasons that happened is because of Veteran’s Choice. If they have to wait in line, they go and see a private doctor and we pay the bill. And they get better.”
“They don’t have to wait two weeks and three weeks or two days. But they get better. And a lot of times they waited so long that they would have a problem and it would end up being terminal because they couldn’t get the kind of treatment that they deserve. So highest poll numbers, highest approval numbers in the history of the VA. I was just given that information yesterday.”
The president spoke about veteran loyalty to the country and his duty to protect them.
“This afternoon, I also want to update you on the steps we’re taking to protect and serve our country’s 18 million veterans. These are great people. Our amazing veterans have shown their eternal loyalty to our nation and this is the time where they’re in need and we are going to show our loyalty to them.”
“We’re being very protective of our veterans. We’re working on certain hospitals where we may be doing some work in Louisiana in particular and some other states, veterans hospitals. We’re going to be very protective of our veterans. Some of them are of that very vulnerable age. And some of them obviously are not feeling well. And some of them are still suffering the wounds of war from many years ago.”
“We’re going to be very protective of our veterans. Some of them are of that very vulnerable age. And some of them obviously are not feeling well. And some of them are still suffering the wounds of war from many years ago.”
“Yesterday I signed vital legislation to ensure that the GI bill will cover distance learning during this emergency. I also spoke with many of our veteran service organizations or the VSOs to describe our unprecedented action.”
“In February, the department of veterans affairs established 19 emergency operation centers throughout the country. One of the things that they’ve been trying to get done for many years, you all know this from following me over the last number of years, but we got it done pretty quickly. They’ve been trying to get it done for many, many decades was choice, veteran’s choice and also veterans accountability.”
“Now if it’s crowded within this, if they can’t get to a doctor, we have great doctors in the VA. I have to say that. We have fantastic doctors as good as they come. But it’s hard to get to them because of what was bureaucracy, but no longer bureaucracy. We’ve done a lot of things in that case because of accountability. When people aren’t doing their jobs or if they’re bad or if they’re sadistic or if they steal or anything bad happens, we’re now allowed to fire them for, I signed that a year and a half ago. For many years you weren’t able to do this.”
As for steps to protect veterans from the Corona Virus, President Trump said the VA was being proactive.
“We restricted visitors access to 135 veteran community living centers, which has nearly 8,000 veterans with chronic medical conditions so that we limit their exposure to the virus. We want to totally take care of our veterans and that’s what we’re doing. The VA has canceled most elective medical and surgical procedures. They’re delaying them until after this has gone, after we’ve won. We began providing lifesaving care to patients who had symptoms across the 171 VA medical centers nationwide, that’s a big deal.”
“Under my administration, the VA has also been a leader in expanding telehealth. Telehealth is becoming a bigger and bigger factor in medicine. This month we’ve taken bold action to cut through the red tape and make telehealth available for millions more Americans during this crisis. They can speak to a doctor from the safety of their home rather than risk becoming infected, or making a tremendously long trip, when frankly you’ll speak to a great doctor right from your home. It’s happening, telehealth. We’re very much at the forefront of that too. We’re very proud of it. And it also takes a big burden off our system.”