The Trump V.A. Plan was unveiled to a crowd of about 5,000 in front of the U.S.S. Wisconsin docked in Norfolk, Virginia, on Saturday, October 31, 2015. Standing on a platform to the starboard side of the warship, Republican presidential aspirant Donald Trump promised to fire top bureaucrats responsible for the malfunctions of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Under the Trump V.A. Plan, the veteran's I.D. card could be used to access any health care center accepting Medicare, and secure immediate attention. Pilot Online flashed-back to former Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki who resigned in 2014 after a scandal exposing employees in a conspiracy to conceal the long wait times for veterans needing health care.
Trump insisted that his V.A. plan would institute policies allowing Veterans Affairs facilities to compete with regular hospitals. The Hill quoted him making the following declaration.
"The plan will ensure our veterans get the care they need, wherever and whenever they need it…Think about me going to my doctor's office and waiting four days. If I wait 15 minutes, I'm angry as hell at the doctor."During his speech running close to 90 minutes, Trump not only walked his audience through his V.A. Plan, but also reiterated his other campaign promises. He promised to use his negotiating skills and unpredictability to revamp U.S. relations with Iran and China, which have been taking advantage of "weak U.S. negotiators."
He restated his vow to construct a wall to stop illegal immigration and compel Mexico to foot the bill of the multi-billion dollar project. He attacked lopsided overseas trade deals and stressed his intention to bring jobs back to the United States. He expressed his determination to spend more on defense, and build a military so big and powerful that its very existence would serve as a deterrent to conflict.
According to International Business Times, the Trump V.A. Plan would attempt to improve the life of veterans returning from combat duty. It would entail more funding for post-traumatic stress disorder and suicide prevention services to "support the whole veteran."
The Trump V.A. Plan unveiled to the Norfolk crowd and made available online to all interested parties, is organized in outline form for easy comprehension.
Urgency is emphasized in the opening sentences of the Trump V.A. Plan alluding to the fact that 300,000 veterans have died waiting for care.
What the Trump V.A. Plan proposes to deliver are: 1. no more long drives or waiting for backlogs as the affected veterans will get care whenever and wherever needed, 2. not just the physical care of veterans, but also their invisible wounds will be addressed, 3. the firing of corrupt and incompetent V.A. executives who have let injured soldiers down.
Trump expressed his determination to deliver his V.A. promises through an action plan. He broke down his agenda into the following focus points: 1. increase funding for post traumatic stress disorder and other invisible wounds, 2. increase funding for job training and placement services, 3. transform the V.A. operation to twenty-first century standards, cognizant of the younger, more diverse veterans, including female veterans, and 4. provide better support for women veterans, making the presence of O.B.G.Y.N. doctors in V.A. hospitals imperative.
In a recap by International Business Times of G.O.P. standings, a CBS/New York Times poll released on Tuesday, October 27, showed Trump's lead faltering as fellow candidate Ben Carson pulled ahead in Iowa. However, an IBD/TIPP poll on Friday, October 30, had Trump, even before his much vaunted V.A. plan was made public, climbing back on top and leading Carson 28 percent to 23 percent.
Real Clear Politics now puts the author of the Trump V.A. Plan at 27 percent of the national average, besting Carson's 22 percent.
[Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images]