So the big buzz word for the political obstruction currently is 'Sequestration' and the knife is approaching. Now word is that the Veterans Administration won't be affected by the coming government cuts. Maybe or maybe not, it's Washington and talking heads passing on the information. But what it does mean is that there will be no needed increases to the still decades long underfunding and with the wars of in the coming VA budgets. With one present war of choice officially over and the main missions of why we sent the military into that region winding down thus increasing the needs. And there's a, still calling itself one, political party with an increased extremist ideology within that will once again seek cutting that budget. In it's decades long ideology of privatizing, for bottom line profits, that and other government agencies but still on the public's responsibility to fund, i.e. corporate welfare.
"You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today." - Abraham Lincoln
Homeless Veterans 'Stand Down'
Feb 26, 2013 - A veterans health clinic in Brick, N.J., is in such disrepair that when the snow gets heavy, patients have to go elsewhere for fear the roof might collapse. Another in San Antonio has extensive mildew and mold problems that could prove a health hazard for employees and patients in the coming years.
In Lake Charles, La., it's not the condition of a clinic but the lack of one. An estimated 6,000 veterans would enroll in VA health care if the community were to get a new clinic.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has cited these examples as it sought approval from Congress last year for a dozen new or expanded health clinics.
Lawmakers anticipated that the cost for the current fiscal year would probably run into the tens of millions of dollars, but the estimate from the Congressional Budget Office came in at $1.2 billion. The nonpartisan CBO said that sound accounting principles require the full cost of the 20-year leases for the clinics be accounted for up front.
The huge jump in the clinics' price tag left lawmakers scrambling. In the face of the budget-cutting climate, the VA request stalled. Now the agency is warning that unless lawmakers act, some clinics may have to close after their old leases expire and other long-planned expansions will not go forward. read more>>>
VA Secretary Eric Shinseki pledged Tuesday that his department will make progress toward ending the benefits backlog this year. House and Senate leaders promised to tackle the issue in upcoming hearings. Veterans groups are lobbying lawmakers this week on the depth of the problem.
But exactly how anyone can fix the mounting headache remains unclear.
As of last week, the benefits backlog – the number of claims pending for more than 125 days – sat above 600,000 cases, up about 7 percent from a year ago. The average claim takes about 270 days to process. read more>>>