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VA says it faces $2.5B budget shortfall

3 years 2 months 3 weeks ago Thursday, June 25 2015 Jun 25, 2015 June 25, 2015 10:48 AM June 25, 2015 in Health
Source: Associated Press
By: Matthew Daly

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.

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