National News

Jun 11, 2014 8:17 PM by KATC

Senate OKs bill that could reduce VA backlog, build Lafayette clinic

The U.S. Senate today passed VA reform legislation that includes authorization to construct two Southwest Louisiana VA clinics in Lafayette and Lake Charles and 24 others in 16 states.

The Senate bill, approved 93-3, makes it easier for veterans who have encountered delays getting initial visits to receive VA-paid treatment from local doctors instead, the Associated Press reported.

The legislation closely resembles a bill approved unanimously Tuesday in the House, prompting optimism among lawmakers from both parties that a compromise version could be on its way soon to President Barack Obama for his signature.

The White House said today that Obama supports the Senate bill.

The bill comes days after a government report revealed 57,000 veterans across the country have been waiting 90 days or longer for their first VA appointment.

In Alexandria, where many Acadiana vets seek care, 700 vets are awaiting their first visit, the worst backlog in Louisiana.

Here's a look at the backlog across the country.

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