President Donald Trump abruptly came out of a press conference after a reporter checked him on his questionable claims about signing a “Veteran’s Choice” bill.
Trump was responding to questions from the press at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, after signing four executive orders on Saturday when CBS News White House correspondent Paula Reid pressed him.
“Why don’t you stop saying you’ve done it on Veterans Choice? Reid asked.
She was referring to Trump’s previous remark: “I just signed two great bills for our veterans. We have achieved the choice of the veteran and the responsibility of the veteran.
President Donald Trump abruptly walked out of a press conference after a reporter checked him on his questionable claims about signing a “Veteran’s Choice” bill
As Trump tried to call another reporter instead, Reid continued, “You said you made it through on Veterans Choice. It was adopted in 2014… that was a false statement, sir.
Trump paused, then replied, “OK. Thank you very much everybody.’ He then walked away from the podium as the song “YMCA” played.
The Veteran’s Choice Act, which allows eligible veterans to be covered by the government for care provided by physicians outside the VA system, was enacted by President Barack Obama in 2014.
In 2018, Trump signed the VA MISSION Act, which amended and expanded eligibility for the Choice program.
He also signed the Veterans Accountability Act in 2017, which promised to help the VA get rid of unethical managers and help veterans get their health care faster.
After Paula Reid, CBS News White House correspondent, urged him, Trump walked away from the podium as the song “YMCA” was played
Washington DC VA Medical Center is seen in a file photo
However, Trump has repeatedly claimed that he created the Veteran’s Choice program, and it is not clear if he was ever challenged on the claim before Reid’s question on Saturday.
Last month, Trump said at a press conference, “On the VA we have the choice of veterans. No one thought it would be possible. It has been several decades.
“They tried to get Veterans Choice. It’s called “Choice” where they can go get a doctor if they have to wait in line for two weeks, five weeks or two days ”.
Thanks to Trump’s expanded program, he hasn’t eliminated delays in care, including for those waiting “two weeks” or “two days.”
The program allows veterans to see a private doctor for primary or mental health care at public expense if their VA wait is 20 days (28 for specialist care) or if their trip to a VA facility is 30 minutes or more.
After the coronavirus outbreak, the AV made the decision to restrict veterans’ access to private doctors, citing the additional risks of infection and the limited capacity of private hospitals.