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VA Hospital and clinics open despite government shutdown

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Posted at 8:10 PM, Oct 01, 2013
and last updated 2013-10-01 22:10:18-04

SALT LAKE CITY — The Veterans Affairs Hospital and clinics in the Salt Lake Valley will remain open despite government shutdown.

The Veterans Health Administration is funded through the fiscal year of 2014 so hospitals, clinics and services are not affected, VA officials said.

The government shut down Tuesday morning after Washington politicians could not come to an agreement on the budget. The center of the controversy is President Barack Obama’s Affordable Healthcare Act.

If the shutdown continues, some benefit payments administered by the Veterans Benefits Administration could be affected, VA officials said.

All VA clinics throughout the state up into Idaho and Nevada are still open, said Jill Atwood, spokeswoman for the VA Salt Lake City Health Care System.

“All our mental health appointments are on schedule,” Atwood said. “We still have a mission to fulfill and our veterans need and depend on us, so we’re here and open for business.”