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)

Recent Headlines

in National, World

Shrinking U.S. trade gap shows economy’s underlying strength

trade

The U.S. trade deficit fell in July to its lowest level in five months as exports rose broadly, signaling underlying strength in the economy amid concerns about a global growth slowdown.

in Local

Third UMass Gang Rape Defendant Found Guilty

Courtesy of Jerrey Roberts, Daily Hampshire Gazette. Adam Liccardi

A Hampshire Superior Court jury deliberated for 12 hours before yesterday afternoon finding Adam Liccadi guilty on three of four counts of aggravated rape.

in Local

West Springfield Police Probe Launched After Prisoner Escapes

news-polic

Jose Rubet of Springfield was arrested August 22 after allegedly leading officers on a high-speed chase into Agawam. He was arrested and taken to lockup, where he later produced a knife which he waved at officers before escaping through an emergency exit.

in National

Kentucky clerk jailed for denying same-sex marriage licenses

20-overlay2

The clerk has refused to issue licenses to any couples, gay or straight, since the U.S. Supreme Court in June ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry under the U.S. Constitution, citing her beliefs as an Apostolic Christian.

in Local

Hotel Northampton Workers Plan To Unionize

Hotel Northampton workers march to unionize. Courtesy of Jerrey Roberts, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Around 50 Hotel Northampton workers marched through downtown Tuesday night to announce their intention to bargain collectively. The group attempted to present their union petition to hotel owner Mansour Ghalibaf, who refused to come out of his office to accept it.