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RGV Veteran Claims Choice Program Needs Work

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WESLACO – President Trump is fulfilling his campaign promise and making sure veterans get much needed healthcare.

On Wednesday, he extended the Choice program which gives veterans access to private healthcare instead of waiting for a VA appointment or traveling to a VA facility out of town.

Veteran Felix Rodriguez said the program is helpful but more needs to be done.

“It still has its problems. I know that personally and this is because I’m a service officer. I’d like to think that I can pick up a phone and call someone and get somebody’s attention immediately. I still have had problems with it,” he said.

While the program allows more access, Rodriguez said navigating through red tape can be a nightmare.

“For about three to four weeks – four weeks, actually – I was going back and forth making phone calls, trying to get my therapy for my right shoulder once I had my rotator cuff surgery. I needed therapy. It took me a month to get that therapy approved,” he said.

The veteran said he’s glad to see help coming from the White House despite the flaws in the program.

“I could care less who it is that signs this bill, Democrat or Republican. As long as we as veterans get the healthcare that we earned and deserved,” he said.

Rodriguez said he will continue to help fellow veterans get the care they need until more changes are made at the VA.

The Choice program was part of the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act signed into law back in 2014 by then-President Obama. It was a bipartisan response to the health care access issues the VA faces.

President Trump said he will be announcing other plans beneficial to veterans next week.  

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