House, Senate begin compromise talks on vets bill

Jun 24, 2014 4:17 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) - House and Senate negotiators are seeking a compromise on legislation to expand health care for veterans, hoping to move quickly in the wake of a scandal that has uncovered long wait times, falsified record-keeping and accusations of criminal activity at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

At their core, separate House and Senate bills would allow millions of former members of the armed forces to seek health care outside the government's veterans system if they are unable to get a timely appointment inside it.

Lawmakers met for opening speeches, sitting around a table a day after the latest indication of a federal agency in deep trouble. In a letter to President Barack Obama, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel said the VA shows a troubling pattern of deficient patient care.

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