Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has released a detailed plan to reform the Veterans Administration that he promises will “decrease wait times, improve healthcare outcomes, and facilitate a seamless transition from service into civilian life.”
In a release on his campaign website, Trump states that the current state of the VA and the care being provided to veterans is totally unacceptable. He blames politicians in Washington for letting the situation with the VA reach the point that it has.
So how would Trump reform the VA?
Perhaps one of the more controversial points is that he says he would fire the “corrupt and incompetent VA executives that let our veterans down.” Here the plan says, “There will be no job security for VA executives that enabled or overlooked corruption and incompetence. They’re fired. New leadership will focus the VA staff on delivering timely, top quality care and other services to our nation’s veterans. Under a Trump Administration, exposing and addressing the VA’s inefficiencies and shortcomings will be rewarded, not punished.”
Other components of Trump’s VA reform plan include:
- End waste, fraud and abuse at the VA
On this point, the plan says, “The days of $6.3 million for statues and fountains at VA facilities and $300,000 for a manager to move 140 miles are over. The Trump plan will clean up the VA’s finances so the current VA budget provides more and better care than it does now.”
- Modernize the VA
Trump promises to expand investment into new technology to boost care for veterans quickly and effectively.
- Empower the caregivers to ensure our veterans receive quality care quickly
On this point, Trump points to the advances coming out of the private sector as a model for improving the VA. The plan notes, “Abandoning the wasteful and archaic mindset of the public sector will give way to tremendously effective veteran healthcare.”
- Hire more veterans
According to Trump, the more veterans we have caring for other veterans, the better off the agency will be. To boost hiring veterans, Trump’s plan will add an additional 5 points to the qualifying scores of veterans applying for VA jobs.
- Embed satellite VA clinics in rural and other underserved areas
The Trump Administration will embed satellite VA clinics within hospitals and other care facilities in rural and other underserved areas. This step will ensure veterans have easy access to care and local hospitals and care facilities can handle the influx of patients without backlogs while tapping the specialized knowledge of VA health specialists.