Jun 7, 2018 - Politics & Policy

Trump signs VA bill, opposes funding it

President Trump speaking

President Trump speaking at Arlington National Cemetary. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump yesterday signed a bill that aims to expand veterans' access to private health care, but the Washington Post reports that the administration is quietly trying to kill the Senate effort to fund it. 

The big picture: Increasing veterans' access to private care emerged as key to addressing the 2014 VA crisis, but it's also sparked a huge debate over how far this access should go.

  • Some lawmakers, along with veterans groups, worry that using federal VA funding for private care could stretch the program's resources even further, as private care often costs more than VA services, Axios' Caitlin Owens writes.

Between the lines: The GOP base was furious with the $1.3 trillion spending bill passed earlier this year, so the White House is hesitant to spend more money. It's encouraging lawmakers to cut spending in other areas instead of appropriating an additional $50 billion to pay for the veterans bill signed yesterday. 

Yes, but: This could play into fears that private care expansion will reduce the VA's ability to serve veterans, as cuts to pay for the private care could come from within the VA itself.

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