The United States Senate has passed a bill that gives veterans some alternatives if they’ve been waiting too long for treatment at a Veterans Administration hospital. The bill is slightly different from a version approved by the House. Senator Blunt expects the final compromise to be stronger than the Senate’s version, which he co-sponsors.
Blunt, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has spent several days visiting Missouri veterans hospitals and demanding records of delayed treatments. He says the key to the bill is that it lets veterans who are not close to a facility or who have been waiting more than two weeks for routine medical care to go to another hospital of their choice. They would be covered by Medicare if they do.
The Justice Department reportedly has asked the FBI to investigate some information from the VA’s Inspector General who has been critical of information indicating many veterans have had to wait more than ninety days at several veterans’ hospitals to get treatment.