Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump released a plan on Saturday aimed at improving veterans’ health care and other services in the wake of continued criticism of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Under Trump’s plan, eligible veterans would be able to bring their veterans’ identification cards to any doctor or facility that accepts Medicare and be able to receive immediate treatment. He said the change, which has also been proposed by other GOP candidates, would help improve wait times and services by adding competition.
“The VA will become more responsive to veterans, develop more efficient systems, and improve the quality of care because it will have no other choice,” it reads.
Trump, who has faced criticism for failing to provide policy specifics, previewed the plan during a campaign appearance in front of the battleship USS Wisconsin in Norfolk, Virginia — the same location 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney chose to announce his vice-presidential pick.
Trump’s plan would also increase funding for treating for post-traumatic stress disorder and suicide prevention services as well as provide additional job training and placement. It also calls for better support for female veterans, including improved health services.
“Politicians in Washington have tried to fix the VA by holding hearings and blindly throwing money at the problem. None of it has worked,” reads the paper. “It’s time we stop trusting Washington politicians to fix the problems and empower our veterans to vote with their feet.”
The department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Trump’s plan, however, does not include any details about how much it would cost to implement. He said in Virginia that the changes he’d propose would cost less than he system now him place because he’d stamp out waste.
Trump has made a point of criticizing the way veterans in the country are treated ever since he drew criticism by questioning Sen. John McCain’s status as a war hero early in his campaign. Trump has also released policy papers on immigration, the Second Amendment and tax reform.
Veterans groups have criticized another presidential contender, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, for proposing to eliminate the Veterans Health Administration entirely.
Republished with permission of the Associated Press.