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Ohio's Sherrod Brown signs on to bill making major changes at the VA
Bill would expedite firings, contracts and care; meanwhile Portman prepares for a town hall and tour of VA facilities

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M.L. Schultze
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In The Region:

Ohio’s U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown -- a member of the Veterans Affairs Committee -- announced his support today for a bill that would give the VA administrator more authority to fire top executives, prioritize contracts with other agencies and authorize emergency funding to hire more doctors and nurses. 

Brown maintains problems at the VA began with a shortage of funding at the start of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq 10 years ago.

LISTEN: Brown on the origin of VA problems

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“The president and the Congress didn’t plan on these traumatic injuries apparently in combat or thought the war would only last for a few weeks. Whatever the reason, they didn’t do it right.

"We’ve doubled the funding for the VA in the last five years. Clearly there aren’t enough primary care physicians, there’s not enough capacity in the system. Once people get in they’re taken care of well, but too often the delays are too great and some employees clearly didn’t do their jobs right and should be held accountable.” 

Separately, Brown has introduced a bill that would create records when active-duty troops are exposed to events that could lead to post-traumatic stress disorder and other problems, so they can be treated more quickly. 

Ohio’s other senator, Rob Portman, will be touring a VA facility in Columbus tomorrow and holding a town hall on the problems.

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