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VA Committees Forge Ahead With Bipartisan Health Care Changes

In a positive sign, new VA secretary received unanimous approval

We don’t want to jinx it, but bipartisan cooperation about health care issues has been spotted in Washington, D.C. As legislators debate, argue, and bargain over the shape of the health care system that would replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), Democrats and Republicans serving on committees overseeing veterans health charge ahead.

The House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committees “are quietly moving forward with an ambitious, long-sought and largely bipartisan agenda that has the potential to significantly reshape the way the nation cares for its 21 million veterans,” The New York Times reports. The newspaper cites, as an example, the unanimous confirmation of VA Secretary David Shulkin, the only cabinet member to receive such support. That’s not all. Funding was extended for the Veterans Choice Program, which allows beneficiaries to use providers outside the VA system.

“Then it passed a new law that makes it easier for the department to hire and fire,” the newspaper reports. “The next bit of legislation on the brink of becoming law expedites disability benefits appeals.”

Source: The New York Times; July 10, 2017.

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