Trump to sign bill extending veterans’ health care program

WASHINGTON — 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.

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