Veterans groups want a 10 percent overall budget increase for VA, more staffing and updated facilities to meet today’s healthcare needs.
Veterans groups are calling for an 8.3 percent increase in medical funding for the Veterans Health Administration and a 10 percent overall increase for the Department of Veterans Affairs next year. Carlos Fuentes, legislative director for the Veterans of Foreign Wars, joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin to provide details on ‘independent budget’ recommendations and others.
A new omnibus veterans package cleared the House Tuesday afternoon, but it doesn’t address three controversial issues that both veterans affairs committees and the VA Secretary himself have spent the past year debating. That leaves a fix for the outdated veterans appeals process, an alternative or solution to the Veterans Choice Program and new accountability procedures to the 115th Congress and next administration.
The Senate is still debating whether it should overhaul current programs at the Veterans Affairs Department that give veterans access to private health care or revise certain pieces of it. At the same time, the VA said it’s close on finalizing a new appeals process, but the committee is concerned the VA’s plan does little to address the current backlog of 450,000 unresolved claims.