VA breakthrough

BECKLEY, W.Va. — A compromise in what has been a sharply contested effort to fund reforms and boost health care coverage for veterans was reached Monday between Senate and House negotiators in Washington.

The tug-of-war was noteworthy because it was so public, with Sen. Bernard Sanders, I-Vt., and Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., releasing a joint statement saying they had “made significant progress” on legislation to make the VA more accountable to vets and improve the health care they receive.

We are heartened to see that Democrats and Republicans, and in Sanders’ case, independents, can still agree on what should be a bipartisan measure.

The VA had said it needs $18 billion to correct its recent widely publicized failures when it comes to our nation’s veterans, including unbelievably long wait times for treatment.

Republicans said they could see $10 billion set aside, but Democrats put forth a $25 billion proposal.

Somewhere near the middle, around $17 billion, a compromise was reached.

As the website Politico put it:

“At a time when Congress is seemingly unable to agree on even the most basic policies, the VA breakthrough surprised even the most cynical on Capitol Hill and gave hope that Congress can compromise on big issues if the consequences are steep enough and time is running out…

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