US Senate backs bill on health care for vets

June 12, 2014 by Matthew Daly
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 10, 2014, after a Democratic caucus lunch. Responding to the public outcry over lax care at Veterans Affairs health facilities, leaders of both parties plan debate soon on a bill to help vets waiting for months to get medical appointments. The House of Representatives advanced a VA reform bill today that passed 421-0. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The Senate has approved a bill making it easier for veterans who have endured long wait times for VA medical care to receive treatment from local doctors instead. The measure closely resembles a bill approved Tuesday in the House. Lawmakers say they are optimistic a compromise version can soon be sent to President Barack Obama for his signature.

The Senate bill, approved 93-3, would authorize about $35 billion over three years to pay for the outside care, hire hundreds of doctors and nurses and lease 26 new health facilities in 17 states and Puerto Rico.

The Veterans Affairs Department released an audit this week showing that more than 57,000 veterans have had to wait at least three months for initial appointments. Some vets who asked for appointments never got them.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., and GOP lawmakers, from left, Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., and Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn of Texas, face reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 10, 2014, after a Republican caucus meeting. Responding to the public outcry over lax care at Veterans Affairs health facilities, leaders of both parties plan debate soon on a bill to help vets waiting for months to get medical appointments. The House of Representatives advanced a VA reform bill today that passed 421-0. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The controversy over veterans' care could provide Republicans with an issue to criticize Democrats ahead of congressional elections in November. It is also a headache for Obama, who had to accept the resignation of the Veterans Affairs secretary, Eric Shinseki, on May 30 and is actively seeking someone to replace him after the leading candidate pulled out, citing the prospect of a bitter confirmation hearing

Explore further: US audit: 57,000 vets await initial medical visits

Related Stories

US audit: 57,000 vets await initial medical visits

June 9, 2014
More than 57,000 U.S. military veterans have been waiting for 90 days or more for medical appointments, the Veterans Affairs Department said in a wide-ranging audit released Monday. An additional 64,000 who enrolled for VA ...

Obama health care nominee withdraws

June 6, 2014
President Barack Obama's choice to be the top health official at the embattled Veterans Affairs Department has withdrawn his nomination.

US House votes to ensure speedier care for US vets

June 10, 2014
The U.S. House overwhelmingly approved legislation Tuesday to make it easier for patients enduring long waits for care at Veterans Affairs facilities to get VA-paid treatment from local doctors.

'Significant delays' found in treatment of US veterans

May 28, 2014
US military veterans were subjected to "significant delays" at a government clinic where up to 1,700 of them may have been kept off waitlists, said an inspector's report released Wednesday.

US lawmakers denounce delays for veterans at clinics

May 16, 2014
Angry US senators on Thursday demanded action over allegations that dozens of military veterans died due to protracted delays at medical clinics, grilling the head of the veterans department.

Agreement boosts access for American Indian vets

December 6, 2012
(AP)—Native American military veterans will be able to access health care closer to home thanks to an agreement between the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs and the Indian Health Service.

Recommended for you

Placental accumulation of flame retardant chemical alters serotonin production in rats

January 22, 2018
A North Carolina State University-led research team has shown a connection between exposure to a widely used flame retardant chemical mixture and disruption of normal placental function in rats, leading to altered production ...

Marijuana use does not lower chances of getting pregnant

January 22, 2018
Marijuana use—by either men or women—does not appear to lower a couple's chances of getting pregnant, according to a new study led by Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) researchers.

Women run faster after taking newly developed supplement, study finds

January 19, 2018
A new study found that women who took a specially prepared blend of minerals and nutrients for a month saw their 3-mile run times drop by almost a minute.

Americans are getting more sleep

January 19, 2018
Although more than one in three Americans still don't get enough sleep, a new analysis shows first signs of success in the fight for more shut eye. According to data from 181,335 respondents aged 15 and older who participated ...

Wine is good for you—to a point

January 18, 2018
The Mediterranean diet has become synonymous with healthy eating, but there's one thing in it that stands out: It's cool to drink wine.

Sleep better, lose weight?

January 17, 2018
(HealthDay)—Sleeplessness could cost you when it's time to stand on your bathroom scale, a new British study suggests.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.