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Senator Bernie Sanders talking about Veterans Affairs in October 2013. Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/32619231@N02/10173955015/">Senate Democrats</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Senator Bernie Sanders talking about Veterans Affairs in October 2013. Photo: Senate Democrats, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Vermont senator lays out plan to overhaul VA

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) Vermont's U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders is outlining plans to improve accountability and insure timely medical services at the Veterans Affairs department.

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Sanders, who chairs the Senate Veterans' Affairs committee, says legislation is needed to address what he described as "reprehensible" behavior by VA officials who lied about treatment times at the Phoenix VA and other medical facilities.

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki publicly apologized and resigned Friday amid the mushrooming scandal over the agency's health care system that cares for nine million veterans.

Sanders says the committee will meet Thursday to consider the Restoring Veterans' Trust Act of 2014.

The bill would provide veterans who can't get appointments promptly with VA doctors the option of going to community health centers or private doctors for care.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

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