House approves bill to speed vets' care

House approves bill to speed vets' care

Credit: Getty Images

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 09: (L-R) Assistant Deputy Veterans Affairs Undersecretary for Health for Administrative Operations Philip Matkovsky, Acting VA Inspector General Richard Griffin and Assistant VA Inspector General for Audits and Evaluations Linda Halliday testify before the House Veterans' Affairs Committee about the ongoing scandal about access to VA doctors appointments, in the Cannon House Office Building on Capitol Hill June 9, 2014 in Washington, DC. An audit was released today detailing fake waiting lists for health care access for veterans, a revelation that resulted in last month's resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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by Associated Press

KREM.com

Posted on June 10, 2014 at 11:01 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The House has overwhelmingly approved legislation to allow patients facing long waits for care at Veterans Affairs facilities to get VA-paid treatment from local doctors.

MORE: VA investigators: Delayed care is everywhere
 
Tuesday's 421-0 vote was Congress' latest response to the outcry over backlogs and falsified data at the VA.
 
The bill is similar to a broader measure that the Senate plans to debate soon.
 
The action comes with the VA reeling from growing evidence that workers fabricated data on veterans' waits for medical appointments in an effort to mask frequent, long delays.

 

READ: Former Spokane VA director accused of wrongdoing at Phoenix VA

A VA audit this week showed that more than 57,000 new patients waited at least three months for initial appointments.
 
Republican Rep. Jeff Miller of Florida, chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, says the VA's handling of patients is a national disgrace.

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