Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on Tuesday released his plan to reform the Veteran’s Administration, calling for private medical options for veterans as well as an expansion of technology and mental health services.
Addressing the VA has gained urgency in recent years, in light of the agency’s scandal in which employees created falsified waiting lists to obscure the fact that veterans were not receiving timely medical care, leading to dozens of deaths. Advocacy groups have said the agency is still struggling to meet demands and that it has failed to hold employees responsible.
“The VA scandals that have occurred are widespread and totally inexcusable,” Trump said at the event. “As we know, many have died waiting for care that never came. A permanent stain on our government.”
Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, in mid-June released her plan to reform the VA, which addressed some similar themes to those raised by Trump. Clinton and her running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, have in the past accused Trump of wanting to privatize the VA, but his plan did not show indications that this was one of his goals.
Trump’s plan did include allowing veterans to receive care from any doctor or medical facility that accepts Medicare, which he said would help decrease wait times.