Veterans optimistic lawmakers will strike compromise on healthca - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Veterans optimistic lawmakers will strike compromise on healthcare

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Don Shellenberger, a veteran from Waterloo, has made more trips to Iowa City's VA Hospital than he can count.

"Unfortunately, one of the problems that we have is Waterloo to Iowa City is 100 miles," he said.

A few years ago, Shellenberger traveled thousands of miles back and forth to Iowa City just to get diagnosed with a heart problem.

Then he had to drive to Minneapolis for a procedure.

But under a bill that could soon be passed by congress, all the miles spent on the road could soon be over. 

That's because lawmakers are hammering out a $17 billion deal that would allow veterans to see local doctors and specialists if they live more than 40 miles from the nearest VA Hospital, or if the wait time for an appointment is more than 30 days.

Shellenberger said he's cautiously optimistic congress will strike a compromise.

"Hopefully our congress people will have the good sense to move forward and complete this faster than they've done on other issues," he said.

The House and Senate still have to vote on the bill, which could be done in the next few days.

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