Disabled American Veterans: Veteran Affairs Funding Bill Shortchanges Nation’s Veterans
To: National Desk
Contact: David E. Autry of Disabled American Veterans, 202-314-5219
WASHINGTON, May 16 /U.S. Newswire/ — The proposed funding level for veterans medical care is “a cruel pretense and an outrage,” according to the Disabled American Veterans (DAV).
Under legislation passed by the House Military and Quality of Life and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee funding for the veterans health care system would rise just 3 percent above the current level. “That is nowhere near the 13 percent or 14 percent annual funding increase needed just to treat veterans already in the system, let alone the anticipated influx of those returning from Iraq and the war on terrorism,” said DAV National Commander James E. Sursely.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) would receive a total of $68.1 billion in fiscal year 2006, up from this year’s level of $65.8 billion. VA health care funding would be $28.8 billion, up $631 million from 2005.
“The DAV and other major veterans service organizations are united in calling on Congress to provide $31.2 billion for veterans medical care,” said Commander Sursely.
That and other recommendations for funding levels and policy changes to provide VA with the necessary resources are detailed in The Independent Budget, co-authored annually by the DAV, AMVETS, Paralyzed Veterans of America, and the VFW.
“The funding situation is intolerable. Less than half way through the current fiscal year, many VA medical facilities are running out of money and face huge deficits. Their plight will only worsen as large numbers of troops returning home from the war in Iraq threaten to overwhelm already struggling facilities,” Sursely said.
“This totally inadequate funding proposal is a cruel pretense and an outrage. It is a clear indication that the men and women who have served and sacrificed for our country are not a national priority,” Sursely said. “It is disgraceful that our government is refusing to adequately fund the veterans medical system while thousands of Americans are being injured and disabled in Iraq, Afghanistan, and all across the globe.”
The 1.2 million-member Disabled American Veterans, a non-profit organization founded in 1920 and chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1932, represents this nation’s disabled veterans. It is dedicated to a single purpose: building better lives for our nation’s disabled veterans and their families. For more information, visit the organization’s Web site http://www.dav.org