KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

House Unanimously Passes Bill To Revamp VA Care

The measure would allow vets to seek private care if they couldn't be seen quickly by the VA and requires an evaluation of the VA health system.

Los Angeles Times: A Primer On How The VA Crisis Broke The Usual Congressional Gridlock
The Veterans Affairs healthcare scandal has done something that few other issues have achieved in this hyper-partisan Congress: Unite members of opposing parties in support of swift action to reduce veterans' waits for care and hold VA officials accountable for misrepresenting waiting times. The bipartisanship was apparent Tuesday as the House overwhelmingly approved a bill that would allow veterans facing long waits for VA care to see private doctors, suspend VA bonuses and require an outside assessment of the VA healthcare system (Simon, 6/10).

Politico: House Passes VA Bill
The House approved legislation on Tuesday that gives veterans stuck on long wait lists for medical care the ability to seek treatment outside of the system established by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Sponsored by Committee on Veterans' Affairs Chairman Jeff Miller (R-Fla.), the bill passed 421-0 with overwhelming support from both parties (French, 6/10).

Meanwhile, in Phoenix where some of the VA's problems first surfaced, a key veterans group sets up a crisis center.

The Associated Press: Amid VA Troubles, Vets Flood American Legion Crisis Center In Phoenix Seeking Help With Care
The 71-year-old former Marine from Glendale went to the emergency room at the VA's Phoenix hospital on April 28 with chest pains. He said he was told he'd need surgery soon, but has yet to get an appointment. "They sent me home to die," Stoesser said Tuesday, surrounded by dozens of other veterans at a crisis center set up by the American Legion in downtown Phoenix in a first-of-its-kind event for the nation's largest veterans group. The move comes amid growing criticism of the VA's handling of patient care nationwide and allegations of misconduct, lengthy wait times and potential unnecessary deaths (Kashfi, 6/10).

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