by WorldTribune Staff, August 22, 2019
President Donald Trump on Aug. 21 signed a memorandum which eliminates federal student loan debt for some 25,000 of America’s disabled military veterans.
“The debt of these disabled veterans will be entirely erased. It will be gone. They will sleep well tonight,” Trump told a crowd of veterans at the annual AMVETS convention in Louisville. “That’s hundreds of millions of dollars in student debt held by our severely wounded warriors. It is gone forever.”
According to the White House, the memorandum orders Secretaries of Education and Veterans Affairs to expedite totally and permanently that disabled veterans have their federal student loan debt discharged with minimal burdens.
According to a Military Times report, veterans who are 100 percent disabled “are already eligible to have their federal student loan debt completely erased, but government officials have struggled to get all of that group to take advantage of the program.”
About 25,000 veterans eligible for the program have not signed on. Federal officials say many of those have already defaulted on federal loans.
The White House described the process to sign up for the program as “too burdensome” and said the goal of the new memorandum is to ensure “disabled veterans have their federal student loan debt discharged with minimal burdens.”
“Veterans who have made such enormous sacrifices for our country should not be asked to pay any more, rather it is America who owes our heroes a supreme debt of gratitude,” Trump said.
During his address to the AMVETS convention, Trump said “After years of neglect, we are fixing the heartbreaking failures from the last administration at the Department of Veterans Affairs. America must never abandon our heroes in their hour of need.”
Trump said that wait times in Veterans Affairs hospitals had been slashed by 33 percent, and touted more VA accountability, allowing bad employees to get fired.
“Now when somebody mistreats you or mistreats people in the VA, we know what happens right?” he asked. “It’s called ‘You’re fired!’”
Veterans in the audience applauded and cheered after Trump said that over 7,600 faulty veterans affairs employees were fired from the system.
“They’re gone, they’re fired,” Trump said.
Veterans also cheered Trump’s announcement that he had cut the amount of opioid drugs being prescribed by Veterans Affairs hospitals.
“Get a pain killer that’s not addictive,” Trump said. “And we’re closer than you think.”
Trump also spoke about preventing veteran suicides, suggesting that the government work to obtain a new nasal spray dose of fast-acting anti-depressant medicine to people experiencing suicidal thoughts.
The drug, Spravato, produced by Johnson and Johnson, was recently approved by the federal government.
“They’ve done so well in this country and they’ve made so much money, I think they should give it to us for free,” Trump said, referring to the pharmaceutical company.