Coats: Congress taking action on VA

WASHINGTON (WLFI) — The latest Department of Veterans Affairs audit shows more than 3,400 Indiana veterans are still waiting on their first doctor’s appointment. Now, Sen. Dan Coats tells News 18 Congress is taking action.

The Senate passed a bill 93-3 late Wednesday which allows veterans to seek care from certain private providers and speeds up the use of 27 additional healthcare facilities.

Coats and Indiana’s Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly both voted for the bill.

Backlogs at the VA have been widely reported over the last several years, but only recently has misconduct come to light. Those actions led the FBI to launch a full criminal investigation of the department, something Sen. Coats welcomes.

“The FBI is one part of an effort here to scrub and look at the entire VA system, see what is wrong, try to fix it and make it right, and take the steps necessary to give our veterans the care they deserve,” said Sen. Coats.

He hopes the FBI doesn’t find much, but Coats said he wants to see deliberate fraud in the VA prosecuted.

The Senate will meet with the House and likely put a bill on the President’s desk by the end of the month.

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