Plans Bill To Offer Military Veterans Option On Medical Care
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[June 02, 2014]
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Senator
Bernie Sanders said on Sunday he will introduce legislation this week
that would offer military veterans the option of private medical care,
rather than endure long waits at facilities under the troubled Veterans
"We are going to introduce legislation either tomorrow or Tuesday
which addresses the short-term need to make sure that any veteran
who is on a long waiting line will be able to get the care that he
or she needs, either at a private facility or a community health
center or Department of Defense base," Sanders, chairman of the
Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, said on CBS's "Face the Nation"
Eric Shinseki resigned on Friday as Veterans Affairs secretary,
under fire for scheduling abuses to cover up long wait times for
healthcare at VA facilities. In Phoenix, doctors have said some 40
veterans died while awaiting healthcare.
Republican Senator John McCain said on the show that veterans had
lost confidence in the VA and that the agency's problems are
"This scandal qualifies for a Department of Justice investigation
and it should have started some time ago," he said. "Clearly, there
are serious allegations that laws were broken."
Sanders, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, had said last
month that he would reintroduce a bill to expand veterans' benefits
that had been blocked by the Senate's Republican minority in
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He said on "Face the Nation" that the government also must take
long-term action to ensure veterans are properly cared for in a
(Writing by Bill Trott; Editing by Jim Loney and Marguerita Choy)
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