Our USA and World

At the birth of Jesus, Angels gave glory to the ONE True God of Israel and said good will to all

At the birth of Jesus, Angels gave glory to the ONE True God of Israel and said good will to all

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OUR Government @ Work

The House on Tuesday passed a bill aimed at preventing

future scheduling scandals at the Department of Veterans

Affairs and addressing treatment delays at VA hospitals.

The measure, sponsored by House Veterans Affairs

Committee Chairman Jeff Miller (R-Fla.), is similar to

bipartisan legislation that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and

Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Bernie

Sanders (I-Vt.) introduced this week.

However, the two bills have some differences.

Let’s take a look at how they compare.

Similarity

Among the matching provisions, both bills would allow

veterans to seek care at non-VA medical centers if they live

more than 40 miles from a VA clinic or if they have

experienced long waits for an appointment.

Both measures would also require an independent

performance assessment for the Veterans Health

Administration, which runs VA hospitals.

The  Senate bill would give the VA secretary greater

authority to fire senior executives over performance

problems, while Miller’s bill would not. But Miller proposed

a VA firing bill last month that passed the House with

overwhelming support, so he had no reason to include such

a measure in the newer legislation. We’ll count this as a

technical similarity

Disparity

Miller’s bill would ban bonuses for all VA employees from

2014 through 2016, while the Senate proposal would not.

The VA has already suspended performance awards for its

senior executives this year.

The Senate bill includes several provisions not offered in the

House measure to help the VHA keep up with demand. It

would allow the agency to lease 26 new facilities for health

care and dedicate $500 million toward hiring new VA

medical staff.

The Senate measure would also guarantee in-state tuition

for all veterans at public colleges and universities, in

addition to expanding access to care for military sexual-

assault victims. The Miller plan does not include such

provisions

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