On September 13, 2018, President Donald Trump signed the Department of Veterans Affairs fiscal 2019 budget into law. The president’s signature gives the VA a funding boost of more than 6 percent and pushes the agency’s total spending to over $200 billion for the first time, says militarytimes.com.

Surrounded by federal officials and local veterans, President Trump finalized the measure at a ceremony held in the North Las Vegas VA Medical Center. He praised the massive spending bill as another promise made good by his administration.

“With this funding bill we have increased the VA’s budget to the largest ever,” militarytimes.com quotes Trump as saying. “We are delivering the resources to implement crucial VA reforms.”

The bill includes $1.1 billion for the start of the VA electronic health records overhaul and $400 million for opioid abuse prevention within the department, both efforts supported by Trump.

These actions are badly needed as health record storage and synchronization within the VA has been atrocious up until this point. As for the opioid epidemic that has killed more Americans than the Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam wars combined? American veterans of foreign wars have been hit harder than average Americans there too.

Veterans are twice as likely as non-veterans to die from accidental overdoses of the highly addictive painkillers, writes Barbara Goldberg at reuters.com. According to federal data, these figures reflect the high levels of chronic pain among vets, particularly those who served in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

U.S. government healthcare officials have been struggling to stem the epidemic of overdoses, which killed more than 64,000 Americans in the 12 months ending last January alone, which the Centers for Disease Control sites as a 21 percent increase over the previous year. About 65,000 Americans died in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, Goldberg writes in her reuters.com article entitled, Opioid abuse crisis takes heavy toll on U.S. veterans. This is why the Trump Administration’s work is so important to surviving and disabled veterans. The changes in law give them a fighting chance at survival without torture through the VA healthcare system.

The final deal also includes the $1.75 billion increase in money tied to the VA Mission Act that was passed early this summer. The legislation will rewrite the department’s community care programs, expanding veterans ability to access private health care at taxpayer expense.

PRESIDENT TRUMP THANKED FOR KEEPING PROMISE TO VETERANS

American Veterans were strategic in putting President Trump into the White House power circle and they know he has their back in return. He even said so. “You backed me and I back you, that’s the way it works right?” breitbart.com reports President Trump as telling the veterans in his Las Vegas audience. “That’s the way it’s supposed to work in life.”

The president hailed the success of the VA Choice Act which allows veterans to seek private doctors if they face long lines at the VA facilities.

An American veteran who faced just such a medical dilemma was invited to the podium to speak. His name was Vincent Pitignana, a disabled Vietnam veteran Marine from Las Vegas.

Pitignana spoke of the gratitude veterans have for Trump and the VA Choice Act that allows for disabled veterans to seek medical treatment outside the VA with a private doctor. This is an important step forward in the healthcare treatment of vets and this veteran understands that intimately. He understands veterans will actually have options in the direction they take for their healthcare that go beyond red tape and inadequate VA doctors.

“I must say that I really am impressed that you and your government are focused on making our country’s promise to us a reality because you know what? We earned it,” Pitignana said to Trump. “No longer do they have to stand and wait and not get the proper care… that’s because of you.”

Trump promised to continue supporting veterans and noted that the Veterans Affairs budget was at it’s biggest ever and promoted recent reform legislation to give veterans more choice and to make it easier to fire bad actors in the system.

“We had people that really mistreated our veterans,” breitbart.com quotes President Trump as saying while pointing to “sadists” and “thieves” who used to run the VA system. “They are now being held accountable.”

The letter of the law is returning to American veteran healthcare as it is in greater America and much of that has to do with Trump. “President Trump is the first candidate and the first president to put veterans at the center of his campaign,” Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie says about the president.

The trend cannot stop now. More money has to be dedicated by lawmakers to the healthcare of those brave men and women who fight for our country through the U.S. military and this needs to be done now while our president is in the White House.

BOTTOM LINE

If this all gets cleaned up before 2020, there may be no need for Mr. Trump to come back. But that will mean the swamp is clean and American veterans everywhere, men and women, will have been provided with adequate funding for state of the art health and homecare that so many of them are still missing.

There’s plenty more work to be done. Our veterans need greater healing alternatives than they presently have, that go beyond basic Western Medicine and Big Pharma that they are still dependent upon. The money that President Trump has signed into law in Las Vegas is just the beginning. It only addresses certain although important aspects of what plagues military veterans who still needlessly suffer physically and emotionally in great numbers, but it is a good start.