VA spending bill shifts funds to medical care.President Bush has signed legislation that provides $70 billion for the Department of Veterans Affairs Veterans Affairs is a term of the business that deals with the relation between a government and its veteran communities, usually administered by the designated government agency. in 2006, including $33 billion in discretionary spending, most of which is for veterans health programs, and $37.2 billion for mandatory programs, primarily for veterans compensation and pensions. The measure designates $1.2 billion in emergency funds to make up for a shortfall in current spending for VA health care. (See the November/December 2005 DAV See WebDAV. Magazine.)
The $82.6 billion Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill funds a variety of programs and services administered by the Department of Defense, the VA and other federal agencies. The measure provides a total of $29.1 billion for veterans health programs, including $26.9 billion in direct appropriations and $2.2 billion in offsetting receipts from veterans and their insurance companies.
Direct medical services to veterans is funded at $22.5 billion, some $1.7 billion more than the fiscal year 2005 level. However, the $2.9 billion appropriation The designation by the government or an individual of the use to which a fund of money is to be applied. The selection and setting apart of privately owned land by the government for public use, such as a military reservation or public building. for managing and administering the veterans health care system is $1.8 billion below last year's level.
Overall funding levels for VA health care in the measure fall about $1 billion short of recommendations contained in The Independent Budget authored by the DAV, AMVETS AMVETS
American Veterans , Paralyzed Veterans of America The Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) is a congressionally-chartered veterans' service organization in the United States of America, founded in 1946. It describes itself as having "developed a unique expertise on a wide variety of issues involving the special needs of our members and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
"The increase in direct medical services and the emergency funds are a step forward, but they are just a short-term fix to a much larger problem," said National Legislative Director Joseph A. Violante. "The shortfalls that were revealed this past summer should have been a wake-up call for the administration and Congress that the veterans health care system needs to have an adequate, reliable funding stream that the current discretionary appropriations process simply does not provide."
The spending bill specifies that at least $2.2 billion of the appropriation for medical services be spent on "specialty mental health care." Conferees also directed the VA to designate des·ig·nate
tr.v. des·ig·nat·ed, des·ig·nat·ing, des·ig·nates
1. To indicate or specify; point out.
2. To give a name or title to; characterize.
3. three "centers of excellence" to focus on mental health care for veterans.
For medical and prosthetic pros·thet·ic
1. Serving as or relating to a prosthesis.
2. Of or relating to prosthetics.
serving as a substitute; pertaining to prostheses or to prosthetics. research, the measure provides $412 million, a $10 million increase over 2005 and $19 million more than the administration's request.
As requested by the administration, the agreement appropriates $3.3 billion for operating and maintaining VA medical facilities, $464 million less than the 2005 level.
The measure does not include the administration's proposals to impose a $250 enrollment fee for certain veterans without service-connected disabilities. Nor does it include the administration's proposal to increase drug co-payment for those veterans to $15.
Also rejected was an administration proposal to restrict payments to state veterans homes for long-term care long-term care (LTC),
n the provision of medical, social, and personal care services on a recurring or continuing basis to persons with chronic physical or mental disorders. . Instead, the measure provides $85 million in grants to states for nursing homes and other extended-care facilities. It also directs the VA to work with the National Association of State Veterans Homes and other groups to find cost-effective solutions for providing long-term care and report its findings to Congress by March 31.
The spending measure provides $607 million for major construction, improvements and modernization modernization
Transformation of a society from a rural and agrarian condition to a secular, urban, and industrial one. It is closely linked with industrialization. As societies modernize, the individual becomes increasingly important, gradually replacing the family, projects for VA medical facilities, a 33 percent increase over 2005. However, the bill cuts spending for minor construction projects by $66 million.
The measure also appropriates $156 million for VA cemeteries, a 6 percent increase over the 2005 level.
"All in all, funding provided under this measure for the VA is less than adequate, despite an increase in direct medical services for veterans," said Violante.
"Funding for operating and maintaining the VA health care system took a pretty big hit to pay for that increase. The practice of simply shifting money from one account to another is no substitute for fully funding veterans health care."
"In the coming months, the DAV will again be pressing our case with Congress and the administration for full funding for veterans health care and other recommendations in The Independent Budget," Violante said. "Our government simply can't let the funding crisis continue; we need to find a better alternative to the dysfunctional dys·func·tion also dis·func·tion
Abnormal or impaired functioning, especially of a bodily system or social group.
dys·func budget and appropriations process that threatens the longterm viability of the veterans health care system."
Veterans Day ...
National Commander Paul W. Jackson, right, and Washington Headquarters Executive Director David W. Gorman salute as "Taps" is played during Veterans Day wreath-laying ceremonies at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Vietnam Veterans Memorial, war memorial in Washington, D.C., built 1982. Designed by the American sculptor and architect Maya Ying Lin, it is a sloping, V-shaped, 493-ft (150-m) wall of highly polished black granite that descends 10 feet (3. . Veterans Day activities for Commander Jackson included a breakfast at the White House hosted by President Bush and ceremonies honoring veterans at Arlington National Cemetery Arlington National Cemetery, 420 acres (170 hectares), N Va., across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.; est. 1864. More than 60,000 American war dead, as well as notables including Presidents William Howard Taft and John F. Kennedy, Gen. John J. .