Friday, September 14, 2012

Funding Veteran Health Care Programs




Sean Eagan
508 East 7th Street
Jamestown, NY 14701-3602


September 15, 2012




Senator Gillibrand & Senator Schumer,

As your constituent and 100 percent service connected disabled veteran
living in NY, I write to ask that you use your influence and vote to
increase federal funding for veterans health care programs for fiscal year
2013. Although the Administration proposed an increase in overall funding
for the Veterans Health Administration, that increase is still at least
$1.5 billion less than DAV and The Independent Budget recommend as
necessary to provide comprehensive health care to our nation's veterans.

On May 31, by a vote of 407-12, the House passed the Fiscal Year (FY) 2013
Military Construction-Veterans Affairs appropriations bill.  The bill
includes a measure that would boost suicide prevention and homeless
assistance funds for veterans.  It would also provide $71.7 billion in
discretionary funding for veterans' benefits about four percent above the
FY 2012 level, but $1.5 billion less than The Independent Budget
recommendation.

Failure to provide adequate funding could have negative effects on VA's
myriad programs, including its crucial mental health programs, health
programs in general, biomedical and prosthetic research, health care
construction projects, and other vital needs.

With the United States having deployed more than two million individuals
to Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001, the next several years are going to be
critical for them as they transition home and begin to rely on the VA
health care system. It is imperative that Congress and the Administration
work together to ensure that funding is sufficient at a time when we are
receiving continuing reports that the needs of many of our veterans are
going unmet. At a hearing in the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee on
April 24th, it was reported that VA is failing to fully meet its
responsibilities to some veterans challenged by mental health problems,
especially those dealing with post-deployment and readjustment needs, in
significant part due to insufficient funding.

I would respectfully ask that you do all you can to ensure VA is
adequately funded for fiscal year 2013 to at least the level recommended
by The Independent Budget (www.independentbudget.org), a minimum of $1.5
billion more for medical services. I would appreciate your advising me of
any actions you have taken, or intend to take to ensure that VA receives a
budget that is sufficient to meet its many challenges in caring for over
six million veterans, and all those new veterans who will be seeking care
in the coming years.

I realize there must be budget cuts and reduced spending in order to get
the nations debt reduced but I ask you not to do it on the backs of those
who have already sacrificed so much for our country.

Sincerely,


Sean Eagan
7167204000

--
Sean P Eagan

American Cold War Veterans  Inc  Image



               

Former Chairman American Cold War Veterans
Life Member Veterans of Foreign Wars
716 720-4000