House Approves $16.3B VA Overhaul Bill

On Wednesday, the House voted overwhelmingly to approve a $16.3 billion bill to overhaul the Department of Veterans Affairs. The bipartisan legislation to improve veterans’ speedy access to health care passed by a 420-5 vote. It provides $10 billion in emergency funds for veterans to see private practitioners if their wait is more than 14 days or if they live more than 40 miles from a VA facility. Funds will also be used to hire doctors, nurses, and other medial staff, and to lease new VA facilities across 18 different states. The Senate is hoping to vote on the bill Thursday. Bipartisan efforts to overhaul the VA follow the recent scandal exposing falsified patient wait times and delays.