Trump boasts veterans law first passed by Obama as one of his greatest achievements
Donald Trump has boasted a veterans law passed by former President Barack Obama as one of his greatest achievements in office.
The president was asked what he thought was his greatest achievement during a town hall in Green Bay, Wisconsin on Thursday evening, moderated by Fox News' Sean Hannity.
When asked, Trump replied, "We approved Veterans Choice and Veterans Accountability ... Very difficult to get. They couldn't get it for 50 years. I understand it. The other thing is Veterans Choice ... If you can't see a doctor, go out and see a private doctor and we'll pay the bill. "
The Veterans' Access to Care through Choice, Accountability and Transparency Act was first signed by Obama in 2014 after going through Congress.
The law would allow veterans to see doctors outside of the government-run Veterans Affairs system if they had to wait more than 30 days for an appointment or travel more than 60 km to a VA facility.
Mr. Trump has expanded the program's eligibility from 2019.
The extension allows veterans to see a private doctor if their waiting time is more than 20 days (28 days for specialty care) or if they live more than 30 minutes from a VA facility.
This was not the first time that the President falsely bragged about creating the Veterans Choice program.
He made a similar claim in 2019 when he announced the expansion of the program in collaboration with VA Secretary Robert Wilkie.
At that time, the president claimed that the program had finally expired after "45 years" of failed attempts by other presidents, although Obama had successfully created the program in 2014.
The Obama administration also passed psychiatric services in the VA on the same day, and waiting times for patients in VA medical centers decreased between 2014 and 2017.
While Mr. Trump rightly stated that he had expanded and improved the program, he was wrong in claiming that his administration had created the veteran program in full.
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