House and Senate Reach VA Bill Deal

    WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 22:  Senate Veterans Affairs Committee chairman Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) listens as Robert McDonald, President Obama's nominee to be the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, testifies before the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee July 22, 2014 in Washington, DC. McDonald, if confirmed, would lead the recently scandal plagued Department of Veterans Affairs.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

    Win McNamee/Getty

    The House and Senate have reached a tentative agreement for overhauling the Department of Veterans Affairs. Led by Democratic senator Bernie Sanders and Republican congressman Jeff Miller, negotiators “made significant progress” on legislation over the weekend, according to aides. The bill will provide $5 billion in emergency funding to hire more doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals. According to a Congressional draft summary, it will also offer eligible veterans a “Veterans Choice Card” to seek medical professionals outside of the VA but covered under Medicare and other federally qualified providers. In response to the scandal of VA workers falsifying timing records to improve their performances, the bill also stipulates that scheduling and wait-time will not be considered in performance reviews.

    Read it at Washington Post