ASHINGTON — President Donald Trump plans to sign legislation to extend temporarily a program that gives veterans access to private-sector health care.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer says Trump will sign the bill Wednesday at the White House.

The extension will provide stopgap services while Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin develops a longer-term plan to allow veterans to more easily go outside the VA medical system for care. Under the bill, the VA will be allowed to operate its Choice program until the funding runs out.


The program is set to expire in August without the legislation, and with nearly $1 billion in the account.

The Choice program was developed after a 2014 scandal over wait times at the VA medical center in Phoenix. Some veterans died.

— Darlene Superville

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  • I am a woman American Viet Nam Vet and I can say without reserve that the VA Choice program must be the worse medical implementation that our government has done in many years. They have caused me to wait for over 2 years for one very needed surgery and now 6 months for another serious issue. They can over ride your VA doctors orders for specialized care if they want to and have done so on several occasions besides taking 7 on up months to pay a bill for an authorized medical care. They are a joke taking our tax dollars and making medical care for veterans worse than ever and VA is bad enough!

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