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Congress widens private care at besieged VA


By HOPE YEN, Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Congress today expanded private care for veterans as an alternative to the troubled Veterans Affairs health system.

The Senate cleared the bill on a 92-5 vote on Wednesday, also averting a disastrous shutdown of its Choice private-sector program. The program is slated to run out of money as early as next week, causing disruptions in care.

Sen. Jon Tester, the top Democrat on the veterans panel, said the plan will also boost VA health care by paying off higher amounts of student loan debt for doctors who agree to work in high-need VA positions...

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