President Trump signs bill expanding private care for veterans

President Donald Trump delivers remarks during a 'Celebration of America' event on the south lawn of the White House June 5, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) 

(AP) — President Donald Trump has signed a bill into law that will expand private care for veterans as an alternative to the troubled Veterans Affairs health system.

At a Rose Garden event, Trump praised the legislation as helping to achieve his campaign pledge to fix the VA by bringing accountability and widening access to private doctors.

He said for veterans who have been standing "in line for weeks and weeks" seeking care at VA, "now they can go see a doctor."

The $51 billion measure builds on legislation passed in 2014 in response to a scandal at the Phoenix VA medical center, where some veterans died while waiting months for appointments.

It will allow veterans, with the approval of a VA provider, to see private doctors when they do not receive treatment they expected.