The House of Representatives voted unanimously Tuesday to let U.S. veterans get medical treatment from local private doctors and have the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) pay for it.
The VA is reeling from a scandal in which tens of thousands of former military personnel have had to wait three months or more for a VA hospital appointment. Some vets reportedly died waiting to see a doctor.
VA bureaucrats are accused of faking reports to hide the long waiting times. The scandal prompted Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to resign last month.
The House bill would allow veterans who face a long delay for appointments or live more than 65 kilometers from a VA facility to get VA-paid care from a non-agency doctor.
The House bill also cancels all bonuses for VA employees over the next two years. The U.S. Senate is working on a similar measure.