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Major provisions of veterans health care bill


A bill approved by Congress aims to alleviate delays many veterans have faced in getting treatment at Veterans Affairs hospitals and clinics and end the widespread practice of covering up long wait times for appointments. The legislation also makes it easier to fire hospital administration and other senior VA executives.

Congressional budget analysts put the cost of the bill at $16.3 billion over three years and estimate it will add $10 billion to federal deficits over the next 10 years.

The legislation:

-Devotes $10 billion to pay private doctors to treat qualifying veterans who can't get prompt appointments at the VA's nearly 1,000 hospitals and outpatient clinics, or those who live far from them. Only veterans who enrolled in VA care as of Aug. 1 or live at least 40 miles away are eligible for outside care.

-Devotes $5 billion to hire more doctors, nurses and other medical and mental health professionals.

-Authorizes $1.3 billion to open 27 new VA outpatient clinics and other medical facilities in 18 states and Puerto Rico.

-Grants the VA secretary authority to fire immediately poor-performing senior executives. They would have seven days to appeal, with a final resolution 21 days later.

-Expands a scholarship program for children of veterans killed in the line of duty to include surviving spouses.

-Allows all returning veterans and eligible dependents to qualify for in-state tuition at public colleges and universities under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

-Cuts funding for annual bonuses for VA employees to $360 million, $40 million less than last year.

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fred August 07 2014 at 8:23 AM

Hey- here's a good idea: cut foreign aid to help our veterans! Oh, wait; that's a common sense approach that will never be accepted by either party inside the Beltway.

Flag Reply +63 rate up
13 replies
mickylitz2 August 07 2014 at 8:47 AM

-Cuts funding for annual bonuses for VA employees to $360 million, $40 million less than last year.
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And this is crap,,,Cut bonuses all together...
This is a public funded agency, we didn't vote to give bonuses to federal employees,,,

Flag Reply +62 rate up
13 replies
aaldrew August 07 2014 at 8:41 AM

Maybe if we stopped giving all the aid to counties that hate us we would be able to take care of our own.

Flag Reply +54 rate up
9 replies
knarfdr August 07 2014 at 8:51 AM

This whole problem should never have happened. But it's typical of government run programs, always corrupt and short of money. Give the vets a private plan, like a group policy, and they can get medical care where they want to. Problem is the politicians don't want to give up the control=power.

Flag Reply +39 rate up
5 replies
mickylitz2 August 07 2014 at 8:40 AM

The 33 millions obama gave to Africa a couple days ago should take care of that in a hurry,,
Everyone should be able to see where is priorities are...

Flag Reply +32 rate up
9 replies
Im ShopRat25 August 07 2014 at 8:40 AM

So the government can spend trillions for war and not give the men & women that risked their lives everyday fighting those wars good health care. They deserve good medical care for the sacrifices and risks they took. How soon politicians forget just who did what.

Flag Reply +29 rate up
5 replies
William August 07 2014 at 8:44 AM

Nice Spin HP. Funny that the liberal press calls the $10B addition to the deficit in 10 years "massive". How many times have they referred to Obama's daily spending, about $11B as massive?

Flag Reply +23 rate up
5 replies
Felicia Milholland August 07 2014 at 8:29 AM

The corporations that made huge profits from war, should pay a higher tax!

Flag Reply +23 rate up
10 replies
Tom Harrell August 07 2014 at 8:36 AM

Half of 1 years Pentagon budget could pay for this for 10 years then it wouldn't add a cent to the Defecit.

Flag Reply +13 rate up
1 reply
Mr.Rem Tom Harrell August 07 2014 at 1:57 PM

Yep lets cut our defense networks even more... There's a million wasted research grants given out every year for things a 5 year old could tell you because it's common knowledge. But throwing money at a broken system isn't going to fix it.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
Mike August 07 2014 at 8:28 AM

Why don't people understand that the VA was just trying to save money by killing the Vets?

Flag Reply +3 rate up
2 replies
Im ShopRat25 Mike August 07 2014 at 8:33 AM

Mike........Apparently you're not a vet or you wouldn't say something as asinine as this.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
ualfriend Mike August 07 2014 at 9:10 AM

Mike how much did the 2 wars that your hero started cost

Flag Reply 0 rate up
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