Lawmakers reached a deal late Thursday to stave off a painful shutdown of the multibillion-dollar Choice Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs. But the days-long standoff over how to do so exposed fissures that could hinder efforts to craft a permanent solution.
The program, which pays for veterans to see a private doctor if they are facing long waits or travel times, was set to run out of money by mid-August, earlier than lawmakers initially expected. Now, after several days of tense negotiations, the House and Senate are both expected to take up bipartisan legislation that would infuse $2.1 billion in new funding for Choice over six months, as well as about $1.4 billion hiring, work force improvements and the authorization of 28 leases that increase the department’s internal capacity to deliver care.
The measure is expected to pass before members of both chambers leave for their summer recesses.
Read the full article in The New York Times.