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Republicans offer alternative VA health care bill

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By MATTHEW DALY
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - Four Senate Republicans are proposing a bill that would give veterans more flexibility to see a private doctor if they are forced to wait too long for an appointment at a Veterans Affairs hospital or clinic.

Arizona Sen. John McCain and three other GOP senators introduced the bill Tuesday. The measure is the latest response in Congress to a furor over patient delays and cover-ups at VA health facilities nationwide.

The Republican chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee is preparing legislation to make VA offer non-VA care to veterans who cannot be seen within 30 days. The independent chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee has proposed a bill letting veterans go to community health centers, military hospitals or private doctors if they cannot a timely VA appointment.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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