This evening on “Special Report,” Charles Krauthammer weighed in on a $17 billion tentative VA reform deal.

Read background on the deal below from FoxNews.com:

The leaders of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs committees unveiled a tentative deal on Monday on legislation meant to improve veterans' health care and tackle the litany of scandalous problems at the VA, in a bid to get the wheels turning on a solution ahead of the looming August recess.   

"This starts the conversation," said Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., who leads the House veterans committee. "The VA is not sacred -- veterans are." 

The proposal would authorize at least $17 billion in spending over the next three years to fix the veterans health program, with about $5 billion of that offset elsewhere in the budget. Congressional aides say the agreement includes funding to make it easier for veterans who can't get prompt appointments with Veterans Affairs doctors to obtain outside care and funding to hire doctors, nurses and other medical staff. 

The plan also grants the VA secretary authority to immediately fire senior executives, while providing employees with streamlined appeal rights.


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Krauthammer said that the plan allocates $10 billion for a voucher system, so that veterans can get care outside of VA hospitals, calling it a “brilliant idea.”

Still, he said, “I think the pouring of $5 billion into more doctors and more nurses for a system that is unbelievably inefficient and corrupt is not a good idea, but I’d pay the price in order to get the bill through.”

Krauthammer said the government should turn VA hospitals into regular hospitals and “voucherize” the system.


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As for the $2 billion miscellaneous budget, Krauthammer said, “I wish I had a budget like that.”

Watch the panel discuss VA reform above. Below, hear them sound off on the Israel-Hamas conflict.