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Trump Signs Tester’s Bill to Improve Veterans Choice Program

Bipartisan measure cuts red tape for vets seeking health care closer to home

President Donald Trump today signed into law U.S. Sen. Jon Tester’s bipartisan legislation to begin to improve the Veterans Choice Program in Montana.

Tester’s Veterans Choice Program Improvement Act cuts red tape for veterans seeking health care closer to home by making the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs the primary payer under the Choice Program, which will reduce out-of-pocket costs for veterans and align the Choice Program with the VA’s other community care programs, according to a press release from the Democratic Montana senator’s office.

Tester’s bill recently passed both the Senate and House of Representatives unanimously, and is now one of the first pieces of legislation signed into law by President Trump, the release states.

“Montana veterans have told me time and again that they had to jump over too many hurdles with the Choice Program,” stated Tester, ranking member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. “This law will take critical steps to begin to fix the Choice Program so it works for veterans and community providers across Montana.  Republicans, Democrats, and Independents put politics aside and supported this bill because it cuts red tape for our veterans and improves access to health care for the folks who served.  Moving forward, I will continue to work with veterans and my colleagues to reform the Choice Program so it works on the ground in Montana.”

Tester’s bill was cosponsored by Senators John McCain (R-Arizona), Johnny Isakson (R-Georgia) and Jerry Moran (R-Kansas).

Trump released the following statement following the bill’s signing: “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. 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.”

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