EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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June 10, 2014

US Senate bill includes $4.8M for Worcester VA

BOSTON (AP) — A U.S. Senate bill includes more than $4.8 million to rehab a Veterans Affairs Department outpatient clinic in Worcester.

Sen. Edward Markey's office said the funding is part of larger effort to upgrade VA facilities nationwide.

The Senate could vote on the bill later this week or next. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said his chamber will consider the bill "as soon as it is ready."

On Monday the VA released an audit showing fewer than 600 U.S. military veterans in Massachusetts were still waiting for initial medical appointments at VA hospitals and clinics 90 days or more after requesting them.

Nationwide the number was 57,000.

The U.S. House was poised to consider a bill Tuesday that would let patients facing long waits for care at VA facilities seek VA-paid treatment from local doctors instead.

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