Poll: Support for fixing VA nearly unanimous

 

Nearly 9 in 10 people say reforming healthcare for military veterans is the most important priority for Congress, according to a Gallup poll released Friday.

The survey found 87 percent think it is either “extremely important” or “very important” that Congress deal with the issue in the next year, the highest-rated issue among nine polled by Gallup. 

The consensus is reflected in Congress, where the House and Senate have each passed separate bills in the past few weeks that would, among other things, give veterans more access to private facilities and provide the Veterans Affairs secretary with more authority to fire managers. 

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Respondents in the survey put an investigation into the events surrounding the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl at the bottom of their priority list, with 52 percent saying the issue is very important for Congress to tackle. 

Ensuring equal pay for women, 72 percent, and proving access to preschool education, 65 percent, ranked second and third on the list, respectively.

Fifty-nine percent of people think it is important for Congress to continue to investigate the events surrounding the 2012 Benghazi, Libya, attack.

Majorities of each party see immigration reform as an important priority in the next year, ranking it fifth on the list. 

Unsurprisingly, issues that have divided the parties fall further down on the list because they do not enjoy bipartisan support. 

While 71 Democrats see limiting carbon emissions from power plants as a top priority, overall it ranks near the bottom. 

Similarly, scaling back healthcare reform is a top priority for 75 percent of Republicans, but ranks second from the bottom.  

"Given their lopsided political constituencies, a number of other proposals — particularly raising the minimum wage, passing new pollution regulations, and scaling back the 2010 healthcare law — are almost certain to languish as the midterm elections near," Gallup wrote in an analysis.

The poll surveyed 1,012 people on June 9-10 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. 

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