The VA budget got its’ largest ever budget increase. The $217 billion budget for VA operations is more then a 9% boost for the agency. Three-fifths of the budget consists of mandatory spending on medical benefits and disability with $92 billion going towards discretionary spending, an increase of 6%. The budget also includes $125 million for processing “blue water” Navy veterans claims. This money will go towards hiring new staff and paying for overtime. Benefits are estimated to be over $6 billion. Other figures in the new budget include: $80.2 billion for the Veterans Health Administration which incorporates $9.4 billion for mental health, $222 million in suicide prevention and $330 million in rural health initiatives. Additionally, $11.8 billion will go towards homeless veteran assistance and $9 billion for health care outside of VA facilities. However, they do reassure that the VA will continue to improve the VA facilities and services even while allowing medical care to be sought outside of the VA.
With the new, increased budget, many hope those that served our country with bravery and distinction will receive the care they deserve.
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