House approves VA health care overhaul

Associated Press
House Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Jeff Miller, R-Fla., joined by Speaker of the House John Boehner of Ohio, left, and incoming Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., right, speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 29, 2014, about a compromise bill to help veterans avoid long waits for health care, hire more doctors and nurses to treat them, and make it easier to fire executives at the Veterans Affairs Department. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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The House has approved a compromise bill to refurbish the Veterans Affairs Department and improve veterans' health care.

The 420-5 vote Wednesday sends the bill to the Senate, where approval is expected by the end of the week.

The $16.3 billion measure is intended to help veterans avoid long waits for health care, hire more doctors and nurses to treat them and make firing senior executives at the VA easier.

The measure includes $10 billion in emergency spending to help veterans who can't get prompt appointments with VA doctors to obtain outside care; $5 billion to hire doctors, nurses and other medical staff and about $1.3 billion to lease 27 new clinics across the country.

The Senate on Tuesday confirmed business executive Robert McDonald to lead the sprawling agency.

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