On Saturday, August 12, 2017, President Trump signed an emergency spending bill to provide $2.1 billion to fund the Veterans Choice Program. This program allows veterans to seek private medical care paid for by the government.
According to Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, the Veterans Choice Program would have run out of funding by mid-August. The $2.1 billion emergency spending bill will provide funding for an additional six months.
The Veterans Choice Program was implemented in 2014. It allows veterans to receive private medical care if they must wait at least 30 days for an appointment or drive more than 40 miles to a VA facility.
Last month, Secretary Shulkin announced the budget shortfall and advised VA medical centers to limit the number of veterans sent to private providers.
It is unclear whether this additional spending will be effective in getting veterans more timely care.