Trump extends private-sector health care program for vets

FILE - In this April 2, 2015, file photo, a visitor leaves the Sacramento Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Rancho Cordova, Calif.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump has signed a bill extending a program that lets some veterans seek medical care in the private sector.

The extension will give Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin time to develop a more comprehensive plan to allow veterans to more easily go outside the VA health system for care. The new law allows the VA to operate its Choice program until its funding runs out, expected early next year.

Trump says veterans have “not been taken care of properly” and the bill will extend and improve the program so they can see any doctor they choose.

The Choice program was put in place after a 2014 scandal over long wait times for vets at the VA medical center in Phoenix.

The program was to have expired in August.