WASHINGTON (AP) --
In a surprising revelation, the Department of Veterans Affairs says a program that offers veterans private-sector health care will run out of money much sooner than expected.
It is holding back on some services that lawmakers worry could cause delays in medical treatment.
VA Secretary David Shulkin made the disclosure Wednesday at a Senate hearing.
He cites a shortfall of more than $1 billion due to increased demand from veterans for federally paid medical care outside the VA. The VA had previously assured Congress that funding for the Choice program would last until early next year, but now says it will be depleted by mid-August.
The VA is urgently asking Congress for authority to shift money from other accounts to cover the shortfall.