Stars and Stripes is reporting on a new funding crisis at at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and it’s $2.7 billion in magnitude (“Lawmakers set to question VA on latest funding crisis,” June 23, 2015, Travis Tritten reporting).
According to the Stars and Stripes article, VA Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson is, “blaming it on surging demand for health care at its nationwide network of hospitals and clinics.”
The article continues:
It is the latest in a string of crises and big emergency spending at the department – especially over the past year as the VA attempted to emerge from one of the worst scandals in its history. One year ago, audits found health care staff across the country had manipulated patient appointment data to hide long delays in treatment for tens of thousands of beneficiaries.
When the extent of the scandal became apparent last summer, Congress passed a massive $16.3 billion emergency overhaul law that included $10 billion for the Veterans Choice program, which provides outside care to veterans who cannot get an appointment at their local VA.
But the department is struggling now to pay for a $1.73 billion Denver hospital construction project with huge cost overruns due to mismanagement. Department officials had proposed diverting money from the Veterans Choice program and elsewhere to pay for the troubled project.
Read the full article here: http://www.stripes.com/lawmakers-set-to-question-va-on-latest-funding-crisis-1.354146