Ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, President Donald Trump has boasted about a veterans healthcare law several times at his political rallies, at one time even calling it “the greatest idea I think I’ve ever had.”
The problem with Trump’s claim is that President Barack Obama passed the law in 2014.
Called the Veterans Choice Program, the bipartisan measure was signed into law by President Obama on August 7, 2014. The groundbreaking legislation was well-documented by the news media, of course, in no small part because the $16.3 billion bill was specifically designed to help overhaul the Department of Veterans Affairs. Throughout 2014 and well before that year, the VA was plagued with criticisms about everything from long wait times for basic health care and services to the manipulation of records.
It’s true that since taking office, Trump has continued the program that Obama initiated. President Trump also expanded the Veterans Choice Program by signing the bipartisan VA MISSION Act, which funded Veterans Choice for another year until it can be consolidated with existing care systems to create one cohesive program.
But Trump’s claims at his rallies, ranging from boasts that the Veterans Choice Program was his idea to claiming that passing the legislation was something no other president was able to do, are incorrect.