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Senate Veterans Affairs Chairman Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., left, and House Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., outline their compromise plan to fix  the veterans' health care system. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Senate Veterans Affairs Chairman Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., left, and House Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., outline their compromise plan to fix the veterans' health care system. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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Deal to improve veterans’ health care costs $17B

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A bipartisan deal announced Monday would authorize about $17 billion to help veterans avoid long waits for health care, hire more doctors and nurses to treat veterans and make it easier to fire executives at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

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Veterans Affairs Acting Secretary Sloan Gibson during a press conference at the local VA facility in El Paso, Texas, Friday, July 18,  2014.  (AP Photo/Juan Carlos Llorca)
Veterans Affairs Acting Secretary Sloan Gibson during a press conference at the local VA facility in El Paso, Texas, Friday, July 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Juan Carlos Llorca)
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VA chief pledges end to whistleblower retaliation

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- The acting secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs is vowing to crack down on whistleblower retaliation after a private government watchdog released a critical report on the agency's treatment of employees who brought internal problems to light.

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Veterans Affairs Secretary nominee Robert McDonald of Ohio, center, during a Senate hearing to examine his nomination, Tuesday, July 22, 2014.  (AP Photo)
Veterans Affairs Secretary nominee Robert McDonald of Ohio, center, during a Senate hearing to examine his nomination, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. (AP Photo)
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Obama nominee McDonald pledges to ‘transform’ VA

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama's choice to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs pledged Tuesday to transform the beleaguered agency, saying that "systematic failures" must be addressed.

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President Barack Obama shaking hands June 10 with former Procter and Gamble executive Robert McDonald, his nominee as the next Veterans Affairs secretary, at the Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
President Barack Obama shaking hands June 10 with former Procter and Gamble executive Robert McDonald, his nominee as the next Veterans Affairs secretary, at the Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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Report: Retaliation by VA supervisors common

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A pharmacy supervisor at the VA was placed on leave after complaining about errors and delays in delivering medications to patients at a hospital in Palo Alto, California. In Pennsylvania, a doctor was removed from clinical work after complaining that on-call doctors were refusing to go to a VA hospital in Wilkes-Barre.

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The entrance to the Raymond G. Murphy VA Medical Center in Albuquerque, N.M., is seen Thursday, July 3, 2014. (AP Photo/Russell Contreras)
The entrance to the Raymond G. Murphy VA Medical Center in Albuquerque, N.M., is seen Thursday, July 3, 2014. (AP Photo/Russell Contreras)
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Veteran dies waiting for ambulance in VA hospital

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- A veteran who collapsed in an Albuquerque Veteran Affairs hospital cafeteria - 500 yards from the emergency room - died after waiting around 20 minutes for an ambulance, officials confirmed Thursday.

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President Barack Obama speaks in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, May 21, about veterans health care.  (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
President Barack Obama speaks in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, May 21, about veterans health care. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
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VA review finds ‘significant and chronic’ failures

WASHINGTON (AP) -- In a scathing appraisal, a review ordered by President Barack Obama of the troubled Veterans Affairs health care system concludes that medical care for veterans is beset by "significant and chronic system failures," substantially verifying problems raised by whistleblowers and internal and congressional investigators.

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Vietnam Veterans Honored in NJ on Vietnam Remembrance Day
Veterans marking Vietnam Remembrance Day in 2013. (Chip Somodevilla, Getty images)
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Senate Bill Doubles Spending on Veterans’ Health

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Spending on veterans' health care could double in three years under the Senate's solution to the long waits experienced by thousands seeking medical care at VA hospitals and clinics, according to congressional budget experts.

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Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., right, speaks with Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis. as they take an escalator to the Senate on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, June 4, 2014. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., right, speaks with Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis. as they take an escalator to the Senate on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, June 4, 2014. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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VA Health Care Nominee Withdraws

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama's choice to be the top health official at the Veterans Affairs Department withdrew his nomination Thursday, saying he feared his confirmation could spark a prolonged political battle.

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Ousted Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki.  (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
Ousted Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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Analysis: Shinseki Exit is Outside Obama Playbook

WASHINGTON (AP) -- This was not in the Barack Obama playbook.

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Iraq veteran Justin Grimes, 33, a retired Army and Marine Corps sergeant from Nashville, said he has spent two years trying to get an appointment online to see a psychologist or sleep specialist at a Veteran Affairs facility. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Iraq veteran Justin Grimes, 33, a retired Army and Marine Corps sergeant from Nashville, said he has spent two years trying to get an appointment online to see a psychologist or sleep specialist at a Veteran Affairs facility. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
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Vets Around the US Describe VA Health Experiences

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs became an explosive political story this week, culminating with the resignation of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki.

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