President Donald Trump signed the VA Mission Act on Wednesday, legislation allowing veterans waiting at government-run hospitals to get care from private health institutions.
Trump noted that part of the reason he ran for president was to help improve veterans’ care.
“As a candidate for president, I promise to make reforming the VA one of my absolute highest priorities, and from the first day of my administration, that is exactly what we have done,” Trump said at the signing ceremony in the Rose Garden.
Trump also recognized the anniversary of D-Day during the event.
“On June 6, 1944, more than 70,000 brave young Americans charged out of landing craft, jumped out of airplanes, and stormed into hell,” Trump said. “They gave their hearts, their blood, and their very lives on those beaches to drive out the enemy and strike a lasting victory for our country and for freedom.”
He used the anniversary to remind Americans of the solemn duty they have to their veterans.
“In every generation, there have been heroes like them, patriots who answer the call to serve, who do whatever it takes, wherever and whenever we need them to defend America,” he said. “They put everything on the line for us. And when they come home, we must do everything that we can possibly do for them.”
Trump explained that the bill was the result of a long fight with political interests to finally deliver on veteran access to private care.
“No one who defends our country in uniform should have to fight for their lives when they come back,” he said.
The bill consolidates and streamlines several community care programs in Veterans Affairs and includes funding for modernizing the infrastructure used to handle veterans’ claims.