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Department of Veterans Affairs overhaul bill signed into law

Earlier this month, we discussed the fact that, in a rare showing of unity and cooperation, Congress swiftly passed a bill designed to overhaul certain operations within the Department of Veterans Affairs. Less than two weeks ago, President Obama signed this $16.3 billion piece of legislation into law for the benefit of veterans nationwide.

President Obama explained his support for the measure in a speech delivered at Fort Belvoir. He noted that, “This bill will help us ensure that veterans have access to the care that they've earned. This will give the VA more of the resources that it needs. It will help the VA hire more doctors and more nurses and staff more clinics."

This bill will hopefully serve as only a single stepping stone in the process of rebuilding a relatively broken Department of Veterans Affairs. Not only have veterans been suffering as a result of delays in their medical care, they have also been made to suffer due to delays in their disability benefits application processing and delays in the appeals process for these benefits.

The White House insists that the agency has worked in recent months to remedy some of the most egregious cases of medical neglect and other oversights by the department. However, much work has yet to be done. Veterans have served our nation selflessly for centuries. And yet, scandals centered on financial woes and care delays continue to rock the agency responsible for these selfless heroes. It is time to address the department’s deficiencies once and for all.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, “Obama Signs VA Overhaul Bill,” Jeffrey Sparshott and Ben Kesling, Aug. 7, 2014

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