News

House approves $17B veterans health care bill

House approves $17B veterans health care bill

VETERANS AFFAIRS: This May 29 photo shows the St. Louis VA Medical Center. The medical center is among those on the list of the facilities with the longest average waits as of May 15 for new patients seeking primary care, specialist care and mental health care, according to audit results released Monday. At 86 days, it ranked fifth on the list of facilities with the longest average wait time for new patient specialist care. Photo: Associated Press/Jim Salter

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a $17 billion plan to ease long healthcare delays at the scandal-plagued Veterans Affairs Department, adding much of the cost to the federal deficit.

The compromise measure was reached on Monday between House and Senate negotiators to provide funds for veterans’ temporary access to private medical care, to allow the VA to hire more doctors and nurses and to open more outpatient clinics.

The measure, which also grants VA more authority to fire poor-performing employees, passed 420-5. The Senate is expected to consider it later this week, before Congress starts a five-week summer recess on Friday.

(Reporting By David Lawder; Editing by Sandra Maler)

Latest Headlines

in Local

Portland Task Force to Review Inspection Programs

Noyes St Fire

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) _ The city of Portland is putting together a task force to examine its inspection programs in the wake of a house fire that killed six people.

in Local

Police: 3-year-old Set Fire that Killed His family

CARIBOU FIRE 112014

Authorities say a three-year-old boy set a fire that burned down his mobile home, killing his mother and his twin siblings.

in Trending, Viral Videos

TODAY’S MUST SEE: Kids react to a realistic Barbie doll

19-overlay3

The Lammily doll wants to show children that average is beautiful.

in Local

Maine’s Unemployment Rate Unchanged in October

UNEMPLOYMENT

Maine officials say that the state's unemployment rate held steady in October at 5.8 percent.

in Local

Maine’s Northern Counties See Most Income Growth

GENERIC MONEY LARGE

Federal data shows two of Maine's northernmost counties posted the fastest personal income growth in the state in 2013.

Tweets

  • 34h
  • 34h
  • 34h
  • 40h
  • 41h
  • 48h
  • 48h