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Most Say Improving Veterans' Healthcare Should Be Washington's Top Priority


While Washington lawmakers are frequently accused of being out of touch with average Americans, the results of a new Gallup poll suggest recent efforts to push legislation reforming the scandal-plagued Veterans Affairs Department through both houses of Congress would receive near-unanimous support.

The poll found that improving the way healthcare services are provided to veterans tops a list of several legislative priorities for Washington.

Eighty-seven percent of Americans said it is "very" or "extremely important" for the president and Congress to deal with the issue of healthcare for veterans.

The results come on the heels of the recent scandal over excessive wait times at VA facilities that led to the resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki.

Both the House and the Senate moved quickly to pass legislation designed to improve veterans' access to medical services, and conferees have been urged to work swiftly to resolve the differences between the bills.

The Gallup poll found that passing new legislation to require equal pay for women comes in second on the list of priorities, with 72 percent describing it as "very" or "extremely important" for the president and Congress to address the issue.

Additionally, 65 percent said it is "very" or "extremely important" for the president and Congress to pass legislation providing access to high-quality preschool to every child in America.

Conducting investigations into the capture and release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was at the bottom of the list of nine issues.

While Democrats and Republicans agree on the importance of improving veterans' healthcare, Gallup noted that other issues measured in the poll are more polarizing.

Gallup Senior Editor Lydia Saad said, "Large majorities of Democrats, but fewer than half of Republicans, rate providing access to high-quality preschool, raising the minimum wage, and enforcing new limits on carbon emissions as top priorities."

"On the other hand, conducting further investigations into the Benghazi attacks, investigating the circumstances surrounding Bergdahl's capture and release, and scaling back the 2010 healthcare law are all issues that most Republicans, but not most Democrats, see as important," she added.

The Gallup poll of 1,012 adults was conducted June 9th and 10th and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

For comments and feedback: editorial@rttnews.com

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