While on the campaign trail President-elect Donald Trump made it no secret that he wants to reform of the Department of Veteran Affairs.
“It will be fixed and that begins with a simple promise,” said Trump. “Every veteran will get timely access to top quality medical care.”
During a speech in July in Virginia, Trump laid out his 10 steps to fix the system.
“Veterans should be guaranteed the right to choose their doctors and clinics,” said Trump.
Veteran Joseph Letteri, who was drafted in October of 1956, doesn’t support Trump’s criticism of the VA system.
“Listen, I don’t agree with anything he says,” said Letteri. “How he ever got into the office insulting the whole world is beyond me.”
While attending a Veteran’s Day program at the Heritage at Framingham Senior Living, Letteri spoke highly of veteran health care here in the U.S.
He said his fellow veterans including his son, get better care within the VA system than he does with his private health care provider.
“My son goes to the VA hospital in Salem, Virginia which is the biggest in the country and I’ve been there with him,” said Letteri. “Let me tell you it’s the most incredible place you’ve ever seen.”
The first thing Trump wants to do is hire a new Veteran Affairs Secretary.
“We must also do more to help our veterans find jobs,” said Trump.
He also wants to create a commission to oversee the system, start a 24-hour White House hotline, fix the visa system and more.
“We must increase the number of mental health care professionals inside the VA,” said Trump.
Here’s a complete look at Trump’s 10 step plan, found on his website:
- Appoint a VA Secretary whose sole purpose will be to serve veterans. Under a Trump Administration, the needs of D.C. bureaucrats will no longer be placed above those of our veterans.
- Use the powers of the presidency to remove and discipline the federal employees and managers who have violated the public's trust and failed to carry out the duties on behalf of our veterans.
- Ask that Congress pass legislation that empowers the Secretary of the VA to discipline or terminate any employee who has jeopardized the health, safety or well-being of a veteran.
- Create a commission to investigate all the fraud, cover-ups, and wrong-doing that has taken place in the VA, and present these findings to Congress to spur legislative reform.
- Protect and promote honest employees at the VA who highlight wrongdoing, and guarantee their jobs will be protected.
- Create a private White House hotline, which will be active 24 hours a day answered by a real person. It will be devoted to answering veteran's complaints of wrongdoing at the VA and ensure no complaints fall through the cracks.
- Stop giving bonuses to any VA employees who are wasting money, and start rewarding employees who seek to improve the VA's service, cut waste, and save lives.
- Reform the visa system to ensure veterans are at the front of the line for health services, not the back.
- Increase the number of mental health care professionals, and allow veteran's to be able to seek mental health care outside of the VA.
- Ensure every veteran has the choice to seek care at the VA or at a private service provider of their own choice. Under a Trump Administration, no veteran will die waiting for service.