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veteran health care

A bill that would create a Florida system parallel to the existing federal Veterans Health Administration passed its first committee hearing Tuesday.

It would allow veterans to opt into the state’s Medicaid system in addition to or even instead of the VA.


So-called "burn pits" were common at U.S. military outposts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Legislation in the Senate would create a center to study the effects of breathing their smoke.

Florida veterans were forced to wait at least 30 days for nearly 93,000 medical appointments at VA medical facilities from September through February, and half of those delays were found at just seven sites in north Florida and the Panhandle, according to government data reviewed by The Associated Press.

The data shows the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is far from reaching its goal of reducing long waits for care at some hospitals and clinics in its massive health system.