President signs VA health care bill co-sponsored by Sen. Heller

Sen Dean Heller official portrait.
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WASHINGTON, DC (KOLO) - President Donald Trump signed the Veterans Affair Choice and Quality Employment Act of 2017 on Saturday, which is designed to get veterans treated quicker and with the doctors they want.

Trump praised three members of Congress by name, including Nevada U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, who was one of the sponsors.

The intent of the bill is to make sure veterans get care and not just wait for appointments, Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin said.
Last week, the Senate unanimously approved the bill.

“I applaud the president for signing my bill to ensure Nevada’s veterans can continue using the Veterans Choice program,” Heller in a statement.

“Nevada’s warriors have fought and served their country selflessly, and they should not be forced to jump through hoops when it comes to accessing the care and benefits they’ve earned. From chemotherapy to life-saving surgeries, this critical program allows Nevada’s veterans to receive medical services that the VA cannot provide and for veterans in rural areas to seek care closer to home.”

Heller’s statement noted the program ensures veterans have access to certain services, including surgeries and life-saving treatments that the VA cannot provide. It cites as examples Wendell, a Navy veteran from Lovelock, used the Choice Program to get a neck surgery to ensure he could still walk and John, an Air Force pilot from Battle Mountain, who used the Choice Program to remove cancer above his neck.

The program also allows rural veterans to get care near their homes instead of having to drive hundreds of miles to receive health care.