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President's 2010 Budget Request Strongly Supports VA Programs
Date:2/26/2009

Funding Plan Improves Access, Modernizes Technology

WASHINGTON, Feb. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- President Obama's first proposed budget for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) expands eligibility for health care to an additional 500,000 deserving Veterans over the next five years, meets the need for continued growth in programs for the combat Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan and provides the resources to deliver quality health care for the Nation's 5.5 million Veteran patients.

The 2010 budget request is a significant step toward realizing a vision shared by the President and Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki to transform VA into an organization that is people-centric, results-driven and forward-looking.

"Our success must encompass cost-effectiveness," Shinseki said. "We are stewards of taxpayer dollars, and we will include appropriate metrics to accurately gauge the quality of our care and the effectiveness of our management processes."

If accepted by Congress, the President's budget proposal would increase VA's budget from $97.7 billion this fiscal year to $112.8 billion for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, 2009. This is in addition to the $1.4 billion provided for VA projects in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

The 2010 budget represents the first step toward increasing discretionary funding for VA efforts by $25 billion over the next five years. The gradual expansion in health care enrollment that this would support will open hospital and clinic doors to more than 500,000 Veterans by 2013 who have been regrettably excluded from VA medical care benefits since 2003. The 2010 budget request provides the resources to achieve this level of service while maintaining high quality and timely care for lower-income and service-disabled Veterans who currently rely on VA medical care.

The new budget provides greater benefits
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SOURCE U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
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