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President Obama Signs $16B VA Healthcare Bill

Veterans Affairs Department logoA $16.3 billion measure to overhaul the Department of Veterans Affairs‘s healthcare system has been signed into law by President Barack Obama, The Hill newspaper reported Thursday.

Martin Matishak writes the new law allows veterans to seek care at civilian hospitals and authorizes the agency to bolster its healthcare workforce.

“As a country, we have a sacred obligation to serve you as well as you served us,” President Obama said during a Thursday speech at Fort Belvoir in Virginia, according to the newspaper.

“We are going to spend each and every day working to do right by you and your families,” he added, according to Matishak’s article.

Matishak reports the law allots $10 billion for medical services from non-VA providers for veterans who live more than 40 miles from a VA facility or must wait longer than 30 days for an appointment with a VA doctor.

It also empowers the VA secretary to fire personnel if they engage in unethical activities, according to The Hill.

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