Senate bill requires strategic plan for veterans' long-term care

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The Senate this week passed a bill that affects long-term care for veterans.

The Veterans Health Care Act of 2005 requires the secretary of the Veterans Administration to establish a strategic plan for long-term care. It also requires the VA to expand mental health services in community-based outpatient clinics and increases total funding for VA's programs to assist homeless veterans to $130 million.

Sponsored by Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID), the bill is valued at approximately $193 million in 2006, and an estimated $1.2 billion over five years. The bill has been sent to the House for its approval.

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