President Donald Trump has been promising expanded health care choices for veterans dating back to his election campaign in 2015.
But 2019 could be the year his administration actually makes that happen.
Veterans Affairs has been working on expanded community care rules for veterans' medical appointments since last summer, when Congress approved the VA Mission Act. Details of that work are expected to be released in early 2019, and a full set of new regulations is scheduled to be released in early spring.
Among other priorities, the legislation mandated a retooling of the department’s policies for veterans seeking private-sector care, a massive undertaking that supporters have hailed as giving more flexibility and freedom to veterans who face long lines at VA hospitals and clinics.
VA Secretary Robert Wilkie in December hailed the work as part of “a real transformational period at the department.”