The Senate this week will begin considering legislation in committee to both privatize and reform the troubled Veterans Affairs health care system, and some of the legislation is likely to revive an inter-party political fight over the cost and scope of the agency.

Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., said Sunday that he plans to introduce legislation as soon as Monday that would allow veterans to get medical care at private facilities or Defense Department bases if they cannot get VA care quickly.

“But longer-term, what we have to do within the VA is to make sure that they have the primary care physicians, the nurses and the staffing they need to provide for quality of care that our veterans deserve in a timely manner,” Sanders said Sunday on CBS.

The GOP-led House is out of session this week, after passing a series of bills intended to eliminate systemic mismanagement and malfeasance at the VA that has resulted in delayed care and hidden waiting lists.

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