VA says it faces $2.5B budget shortfall
WASHINGTON - The Department of Veterans Affairs says it faces a budget shortfall of more than $2.5 billion, mainly because of increased demand by veterans for health care, including new life-saving treatments for Hepatitis C.
Deputy VA Secretary Sloan Gibson tells a House committee VA health care sites experienced a 10.5 percent increase in workload for the 12-month period that ended in April.
Gibson says the VA needs flexibility from Congress to reduce the budget gap and pay for what he calls "an untenable situation" in which demand for health care far exceeds resources available.
Gibson also said Thursday the VA completed 7 million more appointments for care in the past year, compared to the previous year, but said veterans still face increased wait times in Phoenix, Las Vegas and other sites.