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Biden's infrastructure plan includes $18B in VA hospital upgrades

Biden's infrastructure plan includes $18B in VA hospital upgrades
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President BidenJoe BidenBiden taps California workplace safety leader to head up OSHA Romney blasts end of filibuster, expansion of SCOTUS US mulling cash payments to help curb migration MORE’s $2.25 trillion infrastructure plan unveiled Wednesday includes $18 billion in improvements to Veterans Affairs medical facilities.

Of the sweeping package meant to invest in domestic infrastructure and create jobs over eight years — branded as “The American Jobs Plan,” — a portion of it will go toward “vastly improving our nation’s federal facilities, especially those that serve veterans,” according to a White House fact sheet.

“While the median age of U.S. private sector hospitals is roughly 11 years, the Veterans Affairs’ hospital portfolio has a median age of 58. The President believes our veterans deserve state-of-the-art hospitals and care,” the fact sheet notes.

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A senior administration official told reporters Tuesday that the $18 billion will go toward a “backlog of high- efficiency projects that would help increase the health security of our veterans,” either through modernizing existing VA hospitals and clinics or building new ones.

The White House has not revealed the specific VA projects the money would fund.

Biden was set to detail the full plan in a speech Wednesday afternoon in Pittsburgh.

Veterans groups for years have pressed lawmakers and the White House to modernize or build replacements for outdated or potentially unsafe VA facilities, as well as open new locations in the face of backlogs for veteran care.

To help that effort along, the White House this summer is expected to name members to a VA Asset and Infrastructure Commission, which will review the state of the department’s buildings across the country and recommend which facilities to close or expand.

It is unknown how Biden’s infrastructure plans will play into those decisions.