WASHINGTON (AP) — The New York Times is reporting that the number of veterans seeking health care but ending up on waiting lists of one month or more is 50 percent higher now than it was a year ago when a scandal over false records and long wait times wracked the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The Times reports that the VA also faces a budget shortfall of nearly $3 billion, and is considering hiring freezes and other moves to reduce the gap.

The newspaper reports that the VA has increased capacity by more than 7 million patient visits per year, double what officials originally thought they needed to fix shortcomings. However, the paper reports that department officials did not anticipate just how much physician workloads and demand from veterans would continue to soar.

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