Florida Governor Rick Scott and Glenn Sutphin, executive director of the Florida Department of Veterans' Affairs, stood just to the left of the president at the ceremony.
"The veterans have poured out their sweat and blood and tears for this country for so long, and it's time that they are recognized, and it's time that we now take care of them and take care of them properly", Mr. Trump said.
Trump signed a law extending the pilot "Veterans Choice" program, which allows some veterans to receive healthcare from local doctors and hospitals closer to their homes than the VA's 150 hospitals and almost 1,000 outpatient clinics.
The Choice program was developed after a 2014 scandal over wait times at the VA medical center in Phoenix.
The White House said Wednesday the new law "eliminates the termination date of the Veterans Choice Program" and modifies "reimbursement and cost-recovery procedures for care provided".
Patients can use the choice program if they lived more than 40 miles from a VA hospital or can't get an appointment within the span of 30 days. The bill being signed by Trump seeks to alleviate some of the problems by helping speed up VA payments and promote greater sharing of medical records.
Reforming the agency, rocked by a waiting-time scandal in 2014, was one of Trump's most-repeated campaign trail promises. "While it's helped, too many veterans still are forced to seek care at failing VA facilities". No veteran should worry they won't be able to get the care they need. He said more work is needed, but called the legislation "an important first step".
The head of a veterans advocacy group said much more needs to be done. At the same time, he wants the VA to work in partnership by handling all the scheduling and "customer service", something that congressional auditors say could be unwieldy and expensive.