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 Local Sports

Seahawks downgrade Lynch, Mebane to out for Monday


Seattle announced the changes in status following the team's walkthrough practice on Sunday. Lynch and Mebane had both been listed as questionable after Saturday's final practice.

in Local Sports

Seattle closes season rallying for win over Oakland

seth smith from seattle mariners via twitter

Seth Smith hit a two-out, solo home run in the bottom of the eighth and the Seattle Mariners rallied for a win over the Oakland Athletics in their season finale on Sunday.

in Sports

Kershaw gets 300 strikeouts on the season

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw throws during the first inning of Game 6 of the National League baseball championship series against the St. Louis Cardinals, Friday, Oct. 18, 2013, in St. Louis.

Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers recorded his 300th strikeout of the season, becoming the first major league pitcher in 13 years to do so.

in Local Sports

Lions running back Joique Bell ruled out for Seattle game

Helmet of Detroit Lions wide receiver T.J. Jones (13) on the field before an NFL preseason football game against the New York Jets at Ford Field in Detroit, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)

The Lions also ruled out tight end Brandon Pettigrew.

in Local Sports

Blazers blank Ravens in home opener

bellingham blazers logo

With the win, Bellingham improves to 2-2 on the season.