In Brief: Senate to introduce refashioned VA bill
WASHINGTON – Details of a refashioned bill to address the problems plaguing the federally run veterans’ health care system were released Sunday by its sponsor, the chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent, posted a summary of his bill Sunday and said it would be introduced this week.
The bill includes several new provisions aimed at fixing the long delays for veterans’ care.
Sanders said in a statement issued Sunday that while the people who have lied or manipulated data must be punished, “we also need to get to the root causes of the problems that have been exposed.”
The bill would allow veterans facing long delays to seek care outside the VA, at private doctors’ offices, military bases or community health centers. It also authorizes emergency funding to hire new doctors and nurses and would provide scholarships or forgive college loans for doctors and nurses who go to work at the VA. In addition, it would give the department authority to fire poor-performing executives, but not as broadly as a bill passed in the House and defeated in the Senate last month.
Casino strike averted in Las Vegas
A strike at downtown Las Vegas casinos was averted as union negotiators reached settlements with several properties only hours before workers were scheduled to walk off their jobs.
The culinary and bartender unions announced Sunday that they struck a tentative five-year deal with the Golden Gate and will not picket there as planned.
On Saturday, the unions announced similar deals with four other casinos: Four Queens, Binion’s, Plaza and Las Vegas Club.