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Mel Evans / Associated Press

Paralyzed Army veteran Gene Laureano cried when he first walked again with robotic legs at a New York clinic as part of research sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs. But when the study ended, so did his ability to walk.

AHCA Ends VA Hospital Access Lawsuit

May 14, 2015

The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration on Wednesday dismissed a nearly year-old lawsuit aimed at giving state inspectors access to federal Veterans Affairs medical centers and documents.

AHCA and two individual plaintiffs filed a notice in federal court in Tampa that they were dismissing the case, and U.S. District Judge Charlene Edwards Honeywell formally approved the dismissal. The federal government fought the lawsuit, arguing last year that the U.S. Constitution's "Supremacy Clause," bars states from regulating federal activities without consent.

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.