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July 30, 2014

US House Passes Bill Overhauling Veterans Affairs Department

by VOA News

The U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly Wednesday for a bill overhauling the scandal-ridden Veterans Affairs Department (VA).

The $16 billion measure passed 420 to 5. It now goes to the Senate, where it also is expected to pass.

The changes are aimed at making it easier and faster for former U.S. servicemen and women to get medical treatment.

It provides funds for veterans to see private doctors if they are unable to get an appointment at a VA hospital.

It also allows for the hiring of more VA doctors and nurses and makes it easier to fire incompetent bureaucrats.

Congress moved to overhaul the VA after reports surfaced of some veterans having to wait as long as 90 days to see a doctor. Some veterans are reported to have died while waiting.

A number of VA officials were accused of altering paperwork to cover up the long waiting periods and other problems.