House approves $3.9B for VA shortfall

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The House has approved a $3.9 billion emergency spending package to address a budget shortfall at the Department of Veterans Affairs that threatens medical care for thousands of veterans.

The bill provides $2.1 billion to continue funding the Veterans Choice program, which allows veterans to receive private medical care at government expense. Another $1.8 billion would go to core VA health programs.

The bill was approved 414-0 Friday and now goes to the Senate.

The Choice program was put in place after a 2014 wait-time scandal at the Phoenix VA hospital and is a priority of President Donald Trump. It allows veterans to receive care from outside doctors if they must wait at least 30 days for an appointment or drive more than 40 miles to a VA facility.

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