House leaders compromise on V-A scandal

House leaders compromise on V-A scandal

It took a scandal to spark it but there's a compromise on Capitol Hill. House and senate lawmakers compromised and made a deal to end the long waits suffered by US veterans. Steve Handelsman has details.

The compromise plan should mean shorter waits for care  especially for younger veterans, just back from Iraq and Afghanistan who now wait weeks or months for a first appointment at the V-A.  

57,000 still not seen after three months according to the audit that forced V-A secretary Eric Shinseki to resign. 

Today a bipartisan emergency fix. Rep. Jeff Miller says helping to get veterans off of waiting lists is extremely important and this bill does that.

V-A emergency plan

$1.5 billion for 27 new clinics

$ 5 billion for more VA doctors

$10 billion for outside care

The plan funds 27 new clinics, spends 5 billion to hire more v-a doctors, and 10 billion for outside care. Vets can go to private doctors; paid for by the VA. If they don't live near a VA clinic or were on a waiting list. Veterans activists, like Alex Nicholson, say the key is turning to non VA doctors.

"Going outside the system, utilizing private providers, community partners, is something that’s gonna immediately alleviate the access crisis.”

Lawmakers worked all weekend, republicans and democrats cooperating,  and made the deal 5 days before their summer break.

Lauren French says the optics really would have been terrible for these members if they go home hit the campaign trail without really doing anything to help veterans.

Senate progressive independent Bernie Sanders and house republican Jeff Miller ;who chair the veterans committees  say they can get their compromise passed, this week.

In Washington, Steve Handelsman, NBC News.

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