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President Barack Obama speaks at the Wallace Theater in Fort Belvoir, Va., Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Aug. 7 (Bloomberg) — President Barack Obama signed a bill into law that gives the secretary of the Veterans Affairs Department new powers to fire agency executives for misconduct, saying it will ensure a “culture of accountability.”

The law also permits veterans to seek private health care if waiting times at a government facility are too long and authorizes spending of $17 billion over five years to expand medical care and reduce case backlogs.

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