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Mon, 28 Jul 2014 09:33:22 +0000
(WASHINGTON) -- A bill to assist the nation's veterans that looked all but dead last week was reportedly agreed upon Sunday by the chairs of the House and Senate Veterans' Affairs committee.
With Congress set to recess for five weeks after Aug. 1, it was imperative that lawmakers arrive at an agreement to assist tens of thousands of war veterans still waiting medical care at VA clinics across the U.S.
The legislation, expected to be announced Monday by Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Florida Republican Congressman Jeff Miller, presents more options for vets to seek medical attention, especially when they live far from VA facilities.
Among the choices vets would have under the bill is access to private health care providers when they live 40 or more miles from a VA hospital.
In addition, the bill calls for building more centers to care for veterans who critics say have waited an unbearably long time to see doctors because of alleged negligence and possible criminal wrongdoing to cover wait times.
What almost undid the agreement were differences on how much will be spent and how everything will be funded. More details should be available later on Monday.
Although certainly a breakthrough, the plan still needs the approval of negotiators from both chambers as well as a full vote by the House and Senate.
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