House, Senate begin compromise talks on vets bill

The U.S. Capitol is shown as the U.S. Congress remains gridlocked over legislation to continue funding the federal government September 30, 2013 in Washington, DC.  (Win McNamee, Getty Images)
The U.S. Capitol is shown as the U.S. Congress remains gridlocked over legislation to continue funding the federal government September 30, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Win McNamee, Getty Images)
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Updated: 6/24 5:56 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — House and Senate negotiators are seeking a compromise on legislation to expand health care for veterans, hoping to move quickly in the wake of a VA scandal that has uncovered long wait times, falsified record-keeping and accusations of criminal activity.

At their core, separate House and Senate bills would allow millions of former members of the armed forces to seek health care outside the government's veterans system, if they are unable to get a timely appointment inside it.

Lawmakers met for opening speeches, sitting around a table a day after the latest indication of a federal agency in deep trouble. 

In a letter to President Obama, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel said the VA shows a troubling pattern of deficient patient care.

©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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