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VVA Praises President's Budget Submission for Veterans Affairs; Condemns Ill-advised Revenue Proposal

WASHINGTON, March 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- "Despite our concerns about the ill-advised proposal to require veterans' healthcare insurers to pay for treatment by the VA for service-connected health conditions, Vietnam Veterans of America hails the budget submission of President Obama for its generosity in assisting all veterans and, particularly, disabled veterans," said VVA National President John Rowan.

"VVA joins fellow veterans' service organizations in condemning the proposal advanced by the Office of Management and Budget to raise revenue by charging a veteran's private health insurer for services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs for service-connected health conditions.

"However, as far as veterans are concerned, this is the best budget submitted by a President in the 30-year history of VVA." Rowan cited the proposed $25 billion increase above the baseline over the next five years; the restoration of health-care eligibility for veterans of modest incomes, which the administration predicts will enable half a million eligible veterans to access the VA health care system by 2013; and making highly disabled veterans who are medically retired from service eligible for concurrent receipt of disability benefits from the VA, in addition to the retirement benefits they receive from the Department of Defense.

"Given this administration's unprecedented willingness to work with the veterans' community to make sure this budget will be one that all veterans can support enthusiastically," Rowan stated, "we feel comfortable that, with President Obama having met with veteran leaders yesterday in the White House and the willingness of senior staff to conduct follow-up meetings, they are receptive to our ideas on how to make this budget better for veterans.

"We look forward to working with the White House, now and in the future, to ensure that veterans don't have to fight and scrape for every additional dollar in the budget," Rowan added. "We call on Congress to make its adjustments and pass this budget, not only on time for the 2010 fiscal year, but early enough so VA managers will know what they can expect to receive so they can plan to accommodate the needs of the veterans they serve."

SOURCE Vietnam Veterans of America
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