AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Last June, during a hearing before the U.S. Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., declared that there were no serious legislative proposals on the table to enrich or ensure the quality of care at the Department of Veterans Affairs. She noted that the only bills in play would further weaken the agency by steering more dollars, and veterans, into the private healthcare market.

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U.S. Army National Guard photo by Spc. Stephen Wright

All last summer, lawmakers on Capitol Hill scrambled to find more than $2 billion in emergency funding to keep the Department of Veterans Affairs’ top private-provider referral program from going bankrupt. After a few misfires and rounds of recriminations, that funding came through last month.

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Michael Vadon via CC 2.0 Lic.

Editor’s Note: This article by Richard Sisk originally appeared on Military.com, the premier source of information for the military and veteran community.

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