June 11 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Senate voted to spend about $1.5 billion to improve health-care access for military veterans two weeks after an inspector general’s report exposed widespread mismanagement at government hospitals.

The vote today was 93-3. Senators now must iron out differences with competing House legislation, which doesn’t include money for the Department of Veterans Affairs to hire new doctors or nurses.

“I think we’ll get it done quick,” Senator John McCain, an Arizona Republican who helped craft the measure, said in an interview about negotiations with the House. “There’s a certain urgency here.”

Veterans’ health care has become a top priority for lawmakers following reports that hospitals and clinics were hiding months-long waiting lists of veterans trying to see a doctor. An internal VA audit June 9 showed more than 120,000 veterans had not received a medical appointment or were currently waiting longer than 90 days for care.

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