Last updated on April 23, 2014 at 1:22 EDT

NEW REPORT: Veterans Groups Urge Lawmakers to Protect VA Health Care and Benefits in Deficit and Debt Deliberations

October 13, 2011

WASHINGTON, Oct. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A new report from four of the leading veterans service organizations is urging the Administration and Members of Congress to protect and strengthen VA health care and benefits as they meet the challenge of tackling our nation’s debt and deficit challenges.

The Independent Budget ~ Critical Issues Report–newly released by AMVETS, Disabled American Veterans, Paralyzed Veterans of America, and Veterans of Foreign Wars–is designed to alert the Administration, Members of Congress, VA and the public to those issues concerning VA health care, benefits and benefits delivery that the authors believe deserve special scrutiny and attention. The report is being released now as a guide for policymakers to help them prepare an adequate budget for the current fiscal year, while preparing to develop the advance appropriation for the medical care accounts for fiscal year 2013. Download the report at www.independentbudget.org.

The six critical issues are:

  • Protection of VA health-care and benefits programs
  • Reforming the benefits claims-processing system
  • Transition, employment, and training for today’s veterans
  • The continuing challenge of caring for war veterans and transitioning them to civilian life
  • Transformation of the VA health-care delivery model–patient-centered medical home or patient-aligned care teams
  • Maintaining VA’s critical infrastructure

The first, protection of VA health-care and benefits programs, is of particular note. As the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction begins deliberations about federal spending and debt, it is imperative that VA health-care and benefits obligations be respected.

“Our sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives and grandchildren who serve on the frontier of freedom need to know that they will come home to a nation that respects and honors them for their service, provides the best medical care to restore them, orchestrates the best vocational rehabilitation to help them overcome employment barriers created by injury, and furnishes a supportive claims-processing system that delivers education, compensation, and survivors’ benefits with efficiency to those who sustained harm in their service to our nation,” the reports states.

The Independent Budget for Fiscal Year 2013–an annual comprehensive budget and policy document, by veterans for veterans–will be released in February 2012 concurrent with the release of the Administration’s proposed budget for VA.

AMVETS–a leader since 1944 in preserving the freedoms secured by America’s Armed Forces–provides not only support for veterans and the active military in procuring receipt of their earned entitlements, but also community services that enhance the quality of life for this nation’s citizens.

The 1.2 million-member Disabled American Veterans, a nonprofit organization founded in 1920 and chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1932, is dedicated to a single purpose: building better lives for our nation’s disabled veterans and their families.

Paralyzed Veterans of America was founded by a band of spinal cord injured service members who returned home from World War II to a grateful nation, but also to a world with few solutions to the challenges they faced. These veterans from the Greatest Generation made a decision not just to live, but to live with dignity as contributors to society. They created Paralyzed Veterans, dedicated to veterans’ service, medical research and civil rights for people with disabilities. And for more than six decades, Paralyzed Veterans and its 34 chapters have been working to create an America where all veterans, and people with disabilities, and their families, have everything they need to thrive. (www.pva.org)

The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is a nonprofit veterans’ service organization composed of combat veterans and those who currently serve in uniform. Founded in 1899 and chartered by Congress in 1936, the VFW is the nation’s largest organization of war veterans and its oldest major veterans’ organization, with 2.1 million VFW and Auxiliaries members located in 7,600 VFW Posts worldwide. For more information or to join, visit the organization’s Web site at www.vfw.org.

SOURCE Paralyzed Veterans of America

Source: PR Newswire