Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America

JWV Strongly Condemns Major Shortfall in VA Health Care Funding

June 24, 2005--National Commander Louis Abramson of the Jewish War Veterans of the USA (JWV) strongly criticized the staggering VA health care $1 billion funding shortfall, which officially surfaced yesterday on Capitol Hill during a midyear budget review. It was revealed that the Department has already had to use more than $300 million from funds intended for 2006, and that some $600 million designated for capital spending will have to be shifted to health care. NC Abramson stated, "No wonder there are recruiting problems! When you not only forget those who have already served, but fail to plan for those wounded veterans who are returning from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, the word gets around. Young people are being told by those who have served that the government fails to keep its promises!" NC Abramson's strongly criticized the Department for continuing to maintain that "the VA budget will continue to provide world-class health care to the nation's veterans." Unless world-class means the Third World, such a statement in light of the facts that have recently come to light lacks credibility. Even before the revelation of this short-fall, the care afforded veterans has been very far from "world-class." The Department and those Congressional committees who hold oversight over the VA have been grossly negligent in allowing this crisis to happen. NC Abramson further criticized two recent attempts to hurt our nation's veterans. One proposal would have created a $250 enrollment fee, and the other would have increased prescription co-payments from $7 to $15. All of those involved in administering and delivering health care to our veterans and to the casualties of our current wars, who are the veterans of tomorrow, must know that our veterans deserve much better. Such disregard for the welfare of those who have defended our country must not be allowed. NC Abramson, as he has done previously, called for mandatory funding for our veterans' health care. Only then will their needs not be subject to the vagaries of political infighting.

 

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