Military

Jun 11, 2014 6:23 AM by Chelsea DeCesare

House, Senate move to improve health care for vets

WASHINGTON (AP) - Thousands of military veterans enduring long wait times for VA medical care could soon get help from Congress.

The Senate is poised to vote by Thursday on a measure making it easier for veterans who've encountered delays getting initial visits to receive VA-paid treatment from local doctors instead. The measure closely resembles a bill approved Tuesday in the House, prompting optimism among lawmakers that a compromise version could be on its way soon to President Barack Obama for his signature.

The legislation comes on the heels of a Veterans Affairs Department audit showing that more than 57,000 new applicants for care have had to wait at least three months for initial appointments and an additional 64,000 newly enrolled vets who requested appointments never got them.

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