House and Senate Reach VA Bill Deal

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.