Department of VA Affairs Among the problems responsible for the delays, a GAO report cites “bureaucratic inefficiency and understaffing at the Department of Veterans Affairs, which often took weeks to make a referral to a private doctor. (Photo: ALM)

The Trump administration’s push to expand veterans’ health care into the private sector took another step forward with the signing of a $51 billion plan that would allow veterans more freedom to turn to the private sector for health care in the name of shortening wait times and bettering care.

The Associated Press reports that the legislation, signed Wednesday, would also expand a VA caregivers program to cover families of veterans of all eras. But, intended to give veterans access to private care after they have experienced poor care or long waits at VA facilities, the bill is also anticipated to boost costs, which could leave the VA in for budget shortfalls next year.

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Marlene Satter

Marlene Y. Satter has worked in and written about the financial industry for decades.

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