A bipartisan commission of health care experts authorized by Congress to propose ways to improve the embattled Department of Veterans Affairs said in a report released Tuesday that much more than a little tinkering will be necessary to ensure that U.S. veterans have access to quality care.

One of the commission's central recommendations is to allow more veterans to obtain care from private doctors. Although veterans who live more than 40 miles from the nearest VA facility or have been on a waiting list for a VA medical service for more than 30 days already have that right, the commission recommends allowing all veterans the choice of opting for private care.

The debate over allowing more vets to get care through private providers has raged for years, with Republicans generally in favor and Democrats generally skeptical.

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