The 2016 presidential election results seem to have almost divided our nation in half – with nearly 50% of the population feeling more elated and hopeful in our country’s future than ever before, and the other 50% feeling confused, depressed and fearful of what lies ahead.

 

 

Whether you find yourself on one end of the continuum or somewhere in between, there’s at least one thing we as American citizens can probably all agree on: too often our country fails to provide the brave men and women who selflessly serve our country with the quality, ongoing physical, emotional and mental health care and support they deserve.

 

A Closer Look at Trump’s Vision

During Trump’s unprecedented presidential campaign, he spoke passionately and at length about this issue and vowed to improve not just the care our service men and women receive, but the ease with which they receive such care. More specifically, Trump’s vision is to:

 

  • Ensure our veterans receive the care they need, when and where they need it.
  • Support the whole veteran and address not only physical health care, but the invisible wounds as well.
  • Make the Department of Veterans Affairs great again by modernizing it, eliminating corrupt and/or incompetent executives and ensuring all medical professionals and staff are dedicated to providing our veterans with the timely, superior care they deserve.

 

While these are certainly admirable solutions to this most pressing issue, it’s important to remember that Trump is not the first candidate to make big promises such as these.

 

So how exactly does Trump plan to accomplish these goals and how might a Trump presidency affect the VA benefits on which millions of honorable Americans rely?

 

Though it is far too early to be certain of the precise impact President Trump will have on veterans’ benefits, we can at least take a look at this summary of his 10-point plan to help reform the VA to get a better idea of what he hopes to achieve.

 

  1. Appoint a new VA Secretary who will put veterans’ needs above the needs of D.C. bureaucrats.
  2. Use his powers as president to discipline and/or eliminate federal employees and executives who have been dishonest and ultimately let our veterans down.
  3. Work with congress to pass legislation that enables the newly appointed Secretary of the VA to discipline or fire any individuals who have threatened the safety, health or well-being of a veteran.
  4. Establish a commission that investigates any and all cases involving fraud, cover-ups or any other type of wrongdoing within the VA, and present such evidence to those in Congress to spark legislative reform.
  5. Offer protection and promotions to employees who speak out about wrongdoings at the VA.
  6. Establish a 24-hour White House hotline with real people who are standing at the ready to answer veterans’ calls regarding any type of wrongdoing within the VA and ensuring no complaints slip through the cracks.
  7. Reprimand employees who waste valuable VA money and incentivize those who strive to eliminate waste, save lives and improve the standard of care and services offered by the VA.
  8. Reform the current visa system so that veterans are placed at the front of the line to receive health care services rather than the back.
  9. Significantly increase the number of mental health care professionals and enable veterans to seek mental health services both in and outside of the VA.
  10. Provide each veteran with vouchers that enable them to seek physical and mental health care at both VA and private-sector facilities.

 

In order to successfully fulfill these big promises and improve the VA as much as Trump intends, Congress and the president must work together to ensure the health care needs of our 22 million veterans are met. Whether or not these measures will be effectively implemented is something only time will tell.

 

For more details about Trump’s vision of a better future for our veterans, click here to read the full version of his 10-point plan to reform the Department of Veterans Affairs.

 

If you have any other questions or concerns regarding veterans’ benefits or you would like to speak with one of G.I. Tax’s friendly, knowledgeable financial advisors or tax preparers about the upcoming tax season, contact us today!