Fixing The Department Of Veterans Affairs

Kristin Reinhart helps Elwood Crowder learn to use a reading aid at the Central Blind Rehabilitation Center at the Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital  in Hines, Illinois.  - Scott Olson/Getty Images

Kristin Reinhart helps Elwood Crowder learn to use a reading aid at the Central Blind Rehabilitation Center at the Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital in Hines, Illinois.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Fixing The Department Of Veterans Affairs

An update on a compromise bill to reduce wait times, boost accountability and improve overall medical care for veterans at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The leaders of the House and Senate Veterans' Affairs committees agreed yesterday to move forward on a bill that addresses critical problems at the V.A. The draft legislation would allow some veterans to be treated by non-V.A. health care providers, and would give the incoming V.A. secretary more authority to fire under-performing senior executives. The $17 billion package is being called a rare act of bipartisanship in a Congress known more for gridlock. Veterans groups, for the most part, say the bill is a step in the right direction, but they will continue to press for additional reforms.

Guests

Rep. Jeff Miller

Republican, representing Florida's 1st congressional district; chairman of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs.

Alex Nicholson

legislative director, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA); former executive director, Servicemembers United; former U.S. Army human intelligence collector.

Ed O'Keefe

congressional reporter, The Washington Post.

Lawrence Korb

senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and former assistant secretary of defense in the Reagan administration.

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