Republicans offer alternative VA health bill

Four Senate Republicans are proposing a bill that would give veterans more flexibility to see a private doctor if they are forced to wait too long for an appointment at a Veterans Affairs hospital or clinic.
Arizona Sen. John McCain and three other GOP senators introduced the bill Tuesday. The measure is the latest response in Congress to a furor over patient delays and cover-ups at VA health facilities nationwide.
The Republican chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee is preparing legislation to make VA offer non-VA care to veterans who cannot be seen within 30 days. The independent chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee has proposed a bill letting veterans go to community health centers, military hospitals or private doctors if they cannot a timely VA appointment.
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