With the Biden inauguration almost upon us, I thought it would be interesting to see some of the Trump Administration’s final online notes before they are purged. I have copied those relating to veterans and added some various links to some in the list.
The Mission Act has received a fair amount of press. The EO to help veterans move to the Merchant Marines “seamlessly” was new to me and seems like a good idea. Telehealth work was started up to connect rural vets and became valuable during COVID. The Haven Act protects disability payments in a bankruptcy, a good reform.
The number of vets who are homeless remains shockingly high although Dr. Ben Carson has been a proactive HUD secretary. In cities like San Francisco, LA, San Diego, I would lay the blame on the mayors and Congress responsible for the worst districts. Big Philantrophy still prefers to fund status projects they can put their family names on.
To see the entire list click below:
Trump Administration Summary of Accomplishments for Veterans
“Serving and Protecting Our Veterans
Signed and implemented the VA Mission Act, which made permanent Veterans CHOICE, revolutionized the VA community care system, and delivered quality care closer to home for Veterans.
The number of Veterans who say they trust VA services has increased 19 percent to a record 91 percent, an all-time high.
Offered same-day emergency mental health care at every VA medical facility, and secured $9.5 billion for mental health services in 2020. https://www.va.gov/samedayservices/
Signed the VA Choice and Quality Employment Act of 2017, which ensured that veterans could continue to see the doctor of their choice and wouldn’t have to wait for care.
During the Trump Administration, millions of veterans have been able to choose a private doctor in their communities.
Expanded Veterans’ ability to access telehealth services, including through the “Anywhere to Anywhere” VA healthcare initiative leading to a 1000 percent increase in usage during COVID-19.
Signed the Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act and removed thousands of VA workers who failed to give our Vets the care they have so richly deserve.
Signed the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017 and improved the efficiency of the VA, setting record numbers of appeals decisions.
Modernized medical records to begin a seamless transition from the Department of Defense to the VA.
Launched a new tool that provides Veterans with online access to average wait times and quality-of-care data.
The promised White House VA Hotline has fielded hundreds of thousands of calls.
Formed the PREVENTS Task Force to fight the tragedy of Veteran suicide.
Decreased veteran homelessness, and education benefits, and achieved record-low veteran unemployment.
Reformed the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to improve care, choice, and employee accountability.
Signed and implemented the Forever GI Bill, allowing Veterans to use their benefits to get an education at any point in their lives.
Eliminated every penny of Federal student loan debt owed by American veterans who are completely and permanently disabled.
Helped hundreds of thousands of military service members make the transition from the military to the civilian workforce, and developed programs to support the employment of military spouses.
Placed nearly 40,000 homeless veterans into employment through the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program.
Placed over 600,000 veterans into employment through American Job Center services.
Compared to 2009, 49 percent fewer veterans experienced homelessness nationwide during 2019.
Signed and implemented the HAVEN Act to ensure that Veterans who’ve declared bankruptcy don’t lose their disability payments.
Enrolled over 500,000 transitioning service members in over 20,000 Department of Labor employment workshops.
Signed an executive order to help Veterans transition seamlessly into the United States Merchant Marine.“
I, for one, hope that the US will continue to bring troops home.
Post-peace initiatives, Israel is now under CENTCOM.
The improved relationships in the Middle East are something I hope Biden can get behind. I’m having a hard time imagining Biden/Harris boosting morale at this moment, but if they become honest and transparent leaders, it may be possible.
Laura (Guest author)
The White House Hotline is not at the White House, it is in Shepardstown, WV. Information is taken from the Veteran and sent to the VA’s Office of Client Relations, then on to a VA Regional Office or Medical Center.
STOP THE POLITICS and TRUMP ASS KISSING . This man called a POW an Fing loser, and he has done so much damage to our country. Insurrection and sedition mean anything?
So can I assume that you would NOT be in favor of a list of Biden Administration WH official
list of highlights concerning veterans either? You would consider that Biden ass kissing and politics as well. If so,I disagree.
When there are good developments for vets, they should be taken note of or praised; where there are weaknesses and failures, taken note of or criticized.
Like it or not, VA’s budget and policies come from our Congress, some input from Pres. and SC, DoD, and of course, the Sec. rule-making abilities.
So it is impossible to ignore the political aspects of reforms. We need allies among Dems, GOP, Independents, Libertarians, Greens, Progressives and write-ins to get good fair legislation passed. One may disagree with these groups on many main points they run on BUT if it is possible to get help for homeless vets, do you really care about their party affiliation? I don’t.
As Alex has said, veterans need lots of help!; from navigating the system to claims, to quality health care. If helpful fair legislation gets passed, that’s a win.
Locally, many vets identify with major and minor parties, and with write-ins. That’s normal and that’s why a Veterans’ Party will not work. Too many personal and regional philosophies, and demographics. To get things done, deal with individuals. Raging against this or that party is counter-productive if your town needs affordable apartments for veterans and essential workers.
But coming together for human needs, vets are a pretty tolerant group. Even here in Blue VT, Sander’s gets much support from more conservative people because he does actually care about raising the standard of living for working people, vets, seniors, economically.
So all I can advise is chill. Lobby your lawmakers because your influence counts. Or should–more than PAC💰–or any party affiliation.
My advice is for politics on this page to stop. No, I would never expect to see anything positive about any Democratic President here. Was a post made like this when Obama left office? I’m an not raging against a party, However, this site does. That has been proven, in words, cartoons, etc. I worked, and still volunteer with veterans and spouses. While you feel justified pointing fingers at me, let me ask you how many decades you spent in Government? Even as a 100% Disabled Vet, I personally helped vets with Homelessness and PTSD. Party doesn’t matter to me, until there is inequality in positive representation.
What is the Veterans Care Act?
President Obama signed it into law on August 7, 2014. The law includes access to healthcare at non-VA hospitals for rural veterans, as well as vast increases in staffing and facilities at existing VA medical centers. Throughout the Trump presidency, Trump repeatedly falsely claimed that he had signed the bill into law.
One thing for certain, some much needed light was shined on the Veterans Administration and I believe many vets were helped and healthcare became more responsive. Nice job outlining these issues Laura! Personally I remain in the Legacy lane and my disability issues stuck since 2015 to present day… little faith in the upcoming administration as their interests are low on the veterans needs list… like the election, hope I am wrong??
To MS Frank–There should be enough data available about the call center by now for some kind of reports to be available. Maybe even in PUBMED. Will scout around because this was a good idea and could give the secretary information about problems in ROs they were unaware of. Getting actual satisfaction for individual vets is another and more difficult matter.
This should remain a permanent and accessible link on your website.
Beneficial changes to VA come so slowly. It has taken 40 years for many AO disabilities to be recognized by the VA. When I first claimed a disability in 1972 the claims process was almost completely a mystery to me. I got screwed and didn’t even know it for years. 30 years later I got what I should have gotten because I lived online talking to other vets.
We need to get hypertension added back in during the Biden Administration because the D senators have worked with Testor on this. And if the populist-Rs want to stay relevant, they should “believe in the science” and stop the BS. VVA may have more on this. The whole AO history is a disgrace and younger vets are going through the same thing now from burn pits etc..Congress can work very fast when the political will is present.
Why were Hypertension and Bladder Cancer, Et al, not added by Trump when they were supposed to be? Sec Shulkin wanted to add them, but Trump’s OMB objected. Military Times, Oct 23, 2019.
Speck: I also wish Shulkin had remained Secretary for much longer because he would not have delayed these presumptives. He became controversial for a travel “scandal” and paid the funds back. Darn shame. The OMB’s objections were a disgrace! I’m not aware of any rules being published yet by VA and I’m hopeful the new administration will actually grant retroactively and get hypertension added back. Going to have to keep an eye out on this.
Trump has signed to extend programs that have been on the books for some time now. He gets no credit for extending programs that have already been in place but announces they were his idea. Very much like Melania plagiarizing Michell Obama’s speeches. Most of American’s citizens have not allowed themselves to be conned by these losers via their vote, thank goodness!
Sherry, I hear you but this post isn’t about Trump, but about some of the things Congress worked on in response to complaints from veterans “back home” and the Administration supported on different levels. And the VSO testimonies help in addition to common sense. For whatever reasons, quite a lot got pushed through amid all the distractions. I haven’t read through the text of these bills yet and I imagine a lot of the employees at the ROs haven’t either. When the plague gets under control, we should keep communicating with lawmakers and the public, practical and ethical needs.
Sherry7006, EXACTLY! Thank you!
Laura, Thank you for researching this, and putting it all at our fingertips.
Regarding VA’s own take on the White House VA Hotline, however, here are excerpts from Nikki Wentling’s, 7/27/2018 piece in “Stars and Stripes”: https://www.stripes.com/2-years-after-trump-promised-a-white-house-veterans-hotline-it-s-open-in-west-virginia-1.539860
On the campaign trail July 26, 2016, Trump spoke at the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Charlotte, N.C., and declared he would create a private, 24-hour White House hotline that veterans could use to relay their complaints about the VA. In the run-up to the 2016 election, Trump described the VA as the most corrupt federal agency and vowed that his administration would fix it. The hotline was No. 6 in his 10-point plan.
“I will create a private White House hotline – that is answered by a real person 24 hours a day – to make sure that no valid complaint about the VA ever falls through the cracks,” Trump said. “I will instruct my staff that if a valid complaint is not acted upon, then the issue be brought directly to me, and I will pick up the phone and fix it myself, if need be.”
He joked that the hotline could keep him up at night and “take the place of Twitter.”
“I want to have somebody, a real person and a really competent person, in the White House with that hotline going,” Trump said.
This week marks the two-year anniversary of that pledge, and Trump addressed the VFW convention again – this time touting the hotline as a promise kept.
“As promised, we established the White House VA Hotline,” he told a crowd of about 4,000 veterans.
But there are many unknowns.
While the VA has released some basic statistics, such has how many calls the hotline has received and how long it takes to answer the phones, the agency has refused to disclose the total cost of the operation, or say how successful it is in resolving veterans’ problems.
Some veterans who have used it complained it’s doing the opposite of what was promised and sending their calls back to local VA offices, rather than elevating their concerns to the highest reaches of government.