Does anybody know anything about this? I need info to sway my Aunt and Uncle who work at the VA Hospital.
No hard figures for ya, however any time a "reduction in rate of growth" of a program occures, in D.C., this is a budget cut.
"In an Oval Office ceremony held December 16, 2003, President Bush signed H.R. 2297, the Veterans Benefits Act of 2003, a bill composed of 7 titles with 39 substantive provisions. All totaled, the new law authorizes $1 billion over the next ten years for new and expanded benefits for disabled veterans, surviving spouses, and children. "
Veterans Benefit Act of 2003
From the Congressional Quarterly:
"WHITE HOUSE REBUFFED VETERANS AFFAIRS PLEAS FOR MORE MONEY
The Department of Veterans Affairs received $1.2 billion less than it requested from the White House when President Bush's fiscal 2005 budget was assembled, Secretary Anthony J. Principi told lawmakers today.
The revelation during the House Veterans' Affairs Committee's first hearing on the budget bolstered the view of many legislators that Bush underfunded veterans' programs in his budget....
The budget seeks $29.7 billion in discretionary spending for the VA, but that includes $2.4 billion to be raised largely through charging some veterans a $250 fee the first time they use VA medical care and increasing co-payments for prescription drugs. Congress rejected similar proposals last year.
"I can't believe the administration would come back and battle again on these co-payments after we said we're not going to do it," said Rep. Ciro D. Rodriguez, D-Texas."
The President never adds or cuts spending, that is the job of the Congress. When the President signs a bill, that means that he agrees with its action.
On the other hand, the President gets to spend every dime the Congress appropriates.
Yea...Bush cut Vets bennies. My retirement check and VA disability check only grew about 3% last year...WAIT...that was better than any year between 1992 and 2000!
Oh...he also "cut" Social Security so grannies will be tossed out of their cheesy apts...and he "cut" welfare so kidlets will starve and turn to crack cocaine to survive...and he "cut" union wages just to piss off the union thugs...and he "cut" body armor out of the military budget so our troops would get killed in greater numbers...and he "cut" out all of the anti-gun laws so we could all own "machine guns" and "street sweepers" and murder thousands of kids in schoolyards ever day...and he "cut" taxes just for the richest 2% of Americans and put the burden on the rest of us...and he "cut" funding for AIDS research and stem cell research because he hates fags and abortionists...and he "cut" oil production world wide so he could drive the prices up and make billions for his crooked oil baron pals...
There are lots more that the Democrats like to claim are all Bush's fault...but that should suffice for now.
The VA does not have a yearly budget like other GOV programs. They simply fight for what is left over. Its REALLY pathetic.
Republicans are the friend of the veteran - I WILL vote Bush / Cheney.
As a life member of the VFW, I can attest that everyone at my post (that I've spoken with) is planning on voting for GW.
Not sure I will try to find out. But I dont see how it would matter as Bush doesnt cut or add to the VA budget. They just get the scraps.
Still not the answer you were looking for but since 2000 funding has increased 38%. More to follow.
The house and the senate EACH passed their own versions in june of how the VA should be funded but were not able to agree on a compromise. The dollar amount has not even been determined yet. So I would say NO Bush has not cut funding.
The VA got less of an increase than they wanted...
In Democrateze, this is a 'cut', even if it's a mathmatically an increase...
On a side note. Veterans groups often make it sound worse than it really is. I have yet to see anyone at my VA hospitial (san antonio) refused treatment. EVERYONE that walks in gets treatment. Also I have heard claims by groups that Vets must wait 6 months for BASIC trreatment. IMO thats aload of crap and I have not seen it. I can walk in the front door be treated and released in less than 3 hours. However I dont do it that way. The VA has setup a private doctor in my corner of town for me to receive care at NO CHARGE to me.
It could ALWAYS be better but it is not yet the dire situation they make it out to be.
Here is one quote I do agree with.
Correct. VFW, AMVETS, DAV ...etc called for a recomended budget of XX billion and they got 3.1 billion less than they asked for.
Thank you, SIR!
I wanted to add that thats an unannounced "walk in" off the street time.
Maybe its different/worse elsewhere but I havent seen it.
This is what the deal is.
Someone - President Bush - who knows - wanted to close down certain VA hospitals that do not have enough patitents to keep them open as a full time VA hospital.
Some of these hospitals are located in areas where the vet population is on a serious decline - to the tune of about 1,000 WWII vets a day.
Some of these hospitals are located in areas where there used to be a military presence, but due to BRAC the local bases have closed.
So yes, they wanted to close some VA hospitals.
Due to the actions of your elected representitives (in my case a couple of dummycraps) those hospital closings have been either shelved or put on hold.
The basis of the dummycraps whining about the VA system stems from this:
Back in 1996 President Clinton opened the VA system up to any and all veterans for medical care.
There is some confusion on the part of the general public and Congress.
The US Military NEVER offered free lifetime medical care to veterans. That was a load of bullshit that recruiters used from the late 40's to the mid 50's.
A bunch of veterans (God bless them) went to court to force the VA to provide lifetime heath care to all veterans. When they realized that they could not win that they went for the next best thing, lifetime medical care for themselves. They won.
Lifetime medical care is given to veterans who:
Retire from the military.
Are medicaly retired.
Have been rated at a certain disability level - this is the tricky part, you can have a disability with a zero percent disability rating.
Anyone else who gets free medical care from the VA is getting a good deal.
These are the current VA eligibility requirements:
What is a Veteran?
The primary factor in determining a veteran's eligibility to receive VA health care benefits, is "veteran status." "Veteran status" is established by active duty service in the military, naval, or air service and a discharge or release from active military service under other than dishonorable conditions. In addition, the following veterans must have completed 24 continuous months of active military service:
· Former enlisted persons whose first term of active duty began after September 7, 1980, OR
· Former enlisted persons who originally signed up under a delayed entry program on or before September 7, 1980, and who subsequently entered active duty after that date, OR
· Former commissioned officers and warrant officers whose first term of active duty began after October 16, 1981, OR
· Any other person (officers as well as enlisted) who entered on active duty after October 16, 1981, and who had not previously completed at least 24 months of continuous active duty service or had been discharged or released from active duty under section 1171 of title 10.
Exceptions to the 24-month Active Duty Rule
The 24 continuous months of active duty service requirement does not apply to:
· Reservists who were called to Active Duty and who completed the term for which they were called, and who were granted an other than dishonorable discharge, OR
· National Guard members who were called to Active Duty by federal executive order, and who completed the term for which they were called, and who were granted an other than dishonorable discharge, OR
· Veterans requesting a benefit for or in connection with a service-connected condition or disability; OR
· Veterans who were discharged or released from active duty under section 1171 or 1173 of title 10; OR
· Veterans who were discharged or released from active duty for a disability incurred or aggravated in line of duty; OR
Veterans who have been determined by VA to have compensable service-connected conditions
Veterans for treatment and/or counseling of sexual trauma that occurred while on active military service, for treatment of conditions related to ionizing radiation or for head or neck cancer related to nose or throat radium treatment while in the military.
Enrollment Priority 1
Veterans with service-connected disabilities rated 50% or more disabling
Enrollment Priority 2
Veterans with service-connected disabilities rated 30% or 40% disabling
Enrollment Priority 3
Veterans who are former POWs
Veterans awarded the Purple Heart
Veterans whose discharge was for a disability that was incurred or aggravated in the line of duty
Veterans with service-connected disabilities rated 10% or 20% disabling
Veterans awarded special eligibility classification under Title 38, U.S.C., Section 1151, "benefits for individuals disabled by treatment or vocational rehabilitation"
Enrollment Priority 4
Veterans who are receiving aid and attendance or housebound benefits
Veterans who have been determined by VA to be catastrophically disabled
Enrollment Priority 5
Nonservice-connected veterans and noncompensable service-connected veterans rated 0% disabled whose annual income and net worth are below the established VA Means Test thresholds
Veterans receiving VA pension benefits
Veterans eligible for Medicaid benefits
Enrollment Priority 6
World War I veterans
Mexican Border War veterans
Compensable 0% service-connected veterans
Veterans solely seeking care for disorders associated with:
exposure to herbicides while serving in Vietnam; or
exposure to ionizing radiation during atmospheric testing or during the occupation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; or
for disorders associated with service in the Gulf War;
for illness possibly related to participation in Project 112/SHAD; or
for any illness associated with service in combat in a war after the Gulf War or during a period of hostility after November 11, 1998
Enrollment Priority 7
Veterans who agree to pay specified copayments with income and/or net worth above the VA
Means Test threshold and income below the HUD geographic index
Subpriority a: Noncompensable 0% service-connected veterans who were enrolled in the VA Health Care System on a specified date and who have remained enrolled since that date
Subpriority c: Nonservice-connected veterans who were enrolled in the VA Health Care System on a specified date and who have remained enrolled since that date
Subpriority e: Noncompensable 0% service-connected veterans not included in Subpriority a above
Subpriority g: Nonservice-connected veterans not included in Subpriority c above
Enrollment Priority 8
As of January 17, 2003, VA is not accepting new Priority Group 8 veterans for enrollment (veterans falling into Priority Groups 8e and 8g.).
Veterans who agree to pay specified copayments with income and/or net worth above the VA Means Test threshold and the HUD geographic index
Subpriority a: Noncompensable 0% service-connected veterans enrolled as of January 16, 2003 and who have remained enrolled since that date
Subpriority c: Nonservice-connected veterans enrolled as of January 16, 2003 and who have remained enrolled since that date
Subpriority e: Noncompensable 0% service-connected veterans applying for enrollment after January 16, 2003
Subpriority g: Nonservice-connected veterans applying for enrollment after January 16, 2003Veterans with service-connected disabilities rated 50% or more
THE ONLY PEOPLE THAT PRESIDENT BUSH WANTS TO CUT OUT OF THE VA SYSTEM ARE THE PEOPLE THAT ARE 100% HEALTHY!!
Ask your aunt and uncle this:
WHICH PRESIDENT ENACTED CONCURRENT RECIEPT?
WHICH PRESIDENT ENACTED TRICARE FOR LIFE?
WHICH PRESIDENT ENACTED MAIL ORDER PRESCRIPTIONS FOR TRICARE BENEFICIARIES?
Who did more for the vets who NEED medical care, President Clinton who opened up the VA system to hundreds of thousands of "eligible" vets without increasing the funding for the VA by a like amount, or President Bush, who gave retirees and the really disabled a better deal....
I don't like saying it, but it's the truth.
Within 10 years most of the 4 million WWII vets are going to be dead. Not everyone of them uses the VA system, but that is going to take a lot of monatary pressure off of the VA system.
The next large group of veterans that are going to start passing in large numbers on are the Korean War vets, and a lot of those guys were also WWII vets.
It's all a numbers game.
The Talking Point about Bush / GOP "cutting" VA benefits is all about Spin.
What actually happened is that the scehduled / projected INcrease was reduced slightly.
The funding in all VA categories did indeed go UP. But since the amount was lessened from the first guesstimate / desired figures, it is being spun as a 'Cut'.
Funding for the VA rose by at least 25 percent under Bush. Just check out the actual budget at www.whitehouse.gov/omb.
Bush cutting the VA is just another liberal lie. Big funding increase at the same time the WWII generation is dying off--we are down to less than one-quarter of WWII vets living.
Which begs the question: Why lie?
"... With over 230,000 employees and an annual budget of more than $50 billion, this organization is second only to the Department of Defense in size among Government Agencies."
I heard this from a relative of mine who spends quite a bit of time at the VA Hospital. All he could do was go on and on about how Bush was going to cut his benefits. I told him he needs to quite listening to the BS he hears down at the VA Hosp. and do some research. Of course I didn't know what the truth was either; I just figured Bush (congress) would not screw the veterans now.
That's a fucking ignorant stat to use, the fucking SIZE of the department.
How about BUDGET.
The VA's budget number of "over 50 billion" includes Discretionary outlays (the budget amount) and Mandatory Outlays (can't touch that).
If you wanted to, a person could include the $40,642 billion in Veterans Home Loans....
Health and Human Services
Housing and Urban Development
International Assistance Programs
Environmental Protection Agency
Social Security Administration
National Science Foundation
Corps of Engineers
Small Business Administration
Executive Office of the President
General Services Administration
So you're agreeing that "The VA does not have a yearly budget"?
And you call me ignorant, huh?
More from the VA:
"VA's fiscal year 2003 projected spending is $59.6 billion -- $25.9 billion for health care, $32.8 billion for benefits, $132 million for national cemetery operations, $455 million for all VA construction and $322 million for departmental administration. "
That sure looks like a budget to me.