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Five Things to Think about with VA Reform

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

Rebecca Burgess

April 27, 2017 | AEIdeas

Promising to hold a press conference this week full of “tremendous things” about VA reform, President Trump last week signed into law the Veterans Choice Program Extension and Improvement Act. Additional bills touching on various aspects of VA reform are making their way through the 115th Congress, alongside of other veterans-related legislation, such as a “GI Bill 3.0.”

For all of the goodwill expressed towards veterans and all of the press given to VA scandals, the VA is not a well-understood institution. This is partly due to its specialized nature, partly due to its size, and partly due to the media’s heavy emphasis on veterans’ health (mental and physical) for bylines. This lack of institutional familiarity feeds the difficulty of assessing meaningful reforms.