President Barack Obama signed a bill Thursday that calls for sweeping changes to the health care system for U.S. veterans. The bill comes in response to the recent Veterans' Affairs scandal that unearthed long waits for vets seeking doctor appointments and cover ups by VA offcials looking to hide the problem.
"No veteran should have to wait to receive the benefits they have earned," said White House spokesman Josh Earnest, according to the Tribune.
Among other provisions, the new law will make it easier for senior VA officials to be fired for poor work and negligence; allocates $5 billion in funding for the hiring of health care officials, including doctors, nurses and mental health professionals; allocated $10 million in funding to pay private physicians to treat vets who cannot get timely appointments at a VA hospital or clinic as well as for those who live more than 40 miles away from a VA facility; cuts annual bonuses for VA staff by $40 million; and appropriates $1.3 billion for the opening of 27 new VA outpatient and other medical facilities in 18 states and Puerto Rico.
Read more about the bill's signing here.