Donald Trump lashed out at the Obama administration over a new plan to expand a Veterans Affairs hospital in Atlanta, calling the plan “a huge waste of money” and “a terrible decision.”
The president tweeted on Monday morning that the Department of Veterans Affairs had a $600 million plan for expanding a VA hospital in Georgia, which he called “a massive waste of taxpayer money” that would lead to a “major increase in healthcare costs.”
He also called on Congress to stop “this waste, and to fix the VA health system.”
“Vets deserve better than this waste and this massive expansion.
They deserve to be treated like humans, not as a profit center for political profit,” Trump wrote in a post that included a link to a story about the expansion.
The VA says that the plan will help alleviate the demand for care and allow for the delivery of care more quickly and efficiently, with the hope of bringing the nation’s VA hospitals to a level of efficiency not seen since the late 1990s.
Trump, in the post, also called the new plan “an outrage.”
The Trump administration announced last month that it would add 2,000 beds to a VA facility in Atlanta and double the number of beds at other facilities in the region, while also increasing staffing levels and contracting out some care.
The administration said it would also spend $400 million to expand the VA Medical Center at McLean, Virginia, which is located about 100 miles from Atlanta.
The expansion, known as the Medical Center Expansion and Modernization Act, will increase the VA’s total capacity to more than 17,000 VA medical facilities by 2020, according to the White House.
That includes more than 4,000 medical centers, 1,500 rehabilitation facilities and 6,000 outpatient clinics, the White Senate said in a statement on Monday.
The plan calls for a $2 billion infusion of money from Congress to pay for the expansion, but the amount is not yet available, according the White Department.
Trump has been vocal about his opposition to expanding VA health care, and his administration is expected to propose a series of major cuts to federal spending in the coming months.
The president has repeatedly said that he would be open to spending $1 trillion more in the federal budget in order to expand VA care, but some Republicans have questioned the plan’s scope and effectiveness.
Trump has previously said that expanding VA care would require massive cuts to Medicare, which accounts for nearly two-thirds of the budget for the VA, according a 2016 analysis by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.