Obama signs veterans' health care overhaul - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Obama signs veterans' health care overhaul

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Obama signs veterans' health care overhaul

FORT BELVOIR, Va. (AP) - President Barack Obama says the government must ensure that the Veterans Affairs Department has the resources to keep up with the demands of troops returning from war.

Obama is speaking at a signing ceremony for a $16.3 billion measure allowing the Veterans Affairs Department to hire thousands of doctors, nurses and other health professionals at the VA's nearly 1,000 hospitals and outpatient clinics nationwide.

The president is speaking at Fort Belvoir, an Army base 20 miles south of Washington. Congress approved the measure last week before taking a five-week recess. It was one of the few significant bills approved this year by both the House and the Senate.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

VA executive: Wait times can be fixed in 2 years

DENVER (AP) - Deputy VA Secretary Sloan Gibson says the agency's scheduling problems and personnel investigations can be cleared up in two years.
    
Gibson made the prediction Wednesday while visiting the Denver veterans hospital. The Veterans Affairs Department is trying to reduce long wait times for veterans to get care and punish employees accused of falsifying data to hide the problem.
    
The VA has reported progress recently. An audit released last month showed 46,000 new applicants for care have had to wait at least three months for initial appointments as of mid-June, down from 57,000 in mid-May.
    
The agency announced last week it would discipline six employees in Colorado and Wyoming accused of falsifying health care data.
    
Gibson said those were the only personnel investigations completed, but more employees will be disciplined.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)



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