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Senate health plan for veterans costs may top $35 billion

Bloomberg, June 13, 2014
A measure passed by the Senate with broad bipartisan support to improve access to health care for U.S. military veterans may cost the federal government $35.5 billion over the first three years. A preliminary analysis of the plan to let veterans seek care from non-VA providers shows it may ultimately cost about $50 billion a year, according to the Congressional Budget Office, Congress's nonpartisan scorekeeper. Some of those costs would be offset by savings to Medicare, CBO said yesterday. The measure passed yesterday 93-3, with Republican Senators Bob Corker of Tennessee, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Jeff Sessions of Alabama voting no. Corker and Sessions cited the cost as a reason for their opposition.