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Monday, July 4, 2011

Veterans Medical Care $54.9Bn FY 2012

We copied this post from a veterans newsletter published bi-weekly by a retired Vet who lives in the Philippine Islands. It puts front and center the ongoing costs of taking care of our Veterans who came out of their service to our country in need of medical care once they leave the  military.

The VA medical system is one of the most cost efficient medical care delivery systems and is repeatedly held up as a model system.  All medical records are paperless in the VA system and can be accessed instantly  wherever a Veteran goes for medical care within the system.

President Barack Obama requested $54.9 billion in funding for the Department of Veterans‘ Affairs (VA) for fiscal year 2012 and $56.7 billion for fiscal year 2013, according to a report released by the Government Accountability Office this week.

 VA officials said the new budget estimate was increased overall by about $1.4 billion for fiscal year 2012 and $1.3 billion for fiscal year 2013 to support health care-related initiatives proposed by the Obama administration, such as expanding homeless veterans programs, opening new health care facilities, offering additional services for caregivers and providing benefits for veterans exposed to Agent Orange. 

The president‘s request for fiscal year 2012 also included about $953 million in contingency funding to provide additional resources in the event that the down-turned economy results in increased use of VA health care.  The president‘s request for appropriations for VA health care relied on anticipated funding from several sources, including collections, unobligated balances of multi year appropriations and reimbursements. VA officials identified changes made to its estimate of the resources needed to provide health care services to reflect policy decisions, savings from operational improvements, resource needs for initiatives and other items to help develop the president‘s VA budget request. 

The VA operates 152 hospitals, 133 nursing homes, 824 community-based outpatient clinics and other facilities to provide care to veterans.  [Source: Health care Finance News article 15 Jun  
2011 ++]


  1. With the advent of the all volunteer armed forces we owe these people whatever it takes to make them whole as best we can when they get a service related injury. We also need to understand the PTSD takes on many forms and transitioning from an environment of kill or be killed back into civilian life may not be all that easy for some of our young people discharged from active service. The VA is the lead agency in dealing with these problems and thank God we have General Erik Shenseki (sp) at the top of the VA. He is well aware of all the demons carried by our veterans.

    Depression is not always that easy to diagnose. I know this first hand and it took a VA Shrink to figure out what was going on in my life and a lot of years lost to this problem. Denial is not your friend, get some help from the VA if you are a Vet in need of some help.

  2. I will be 65 this year and I can't help but wonder if this too will be an area the Republicans want to cut back on funding. In the past three years I have seen everything I saved for retirement shrink. The bankers destroyed my 401K, the Congress wants to take away my social security and Medicare.

    I would hope and pray that veterans benefits survive all the talk about cuts.

  3. What makes them any different than any other government employee. They work 20 years and get full benefits including medical. No body else gets that. Not even teachers, policemen, or fireman. In fact the average police and fireman have to spend about 30 years to even reach retirement age to qualify for benefits. Teachers on average at least 35 years.
    Fireman get burned and seriously wounded too. Policemen get beaten, shot, stabbed and blown up too. Where are their retirement medical benefits? Funny but it wasn't soldiers running up those flights of stairs in the world trade center on 9/11. It was Firemen and Policemen, they died in service to their community and country.

    I know many police and firemen who are still active military and have been deployed no less than three times each to Iraq and Afghanistan. They are sticking it out to get the military retirement benefits they can't get as police or firemen. Some of them have said they felt safer in the military than at their regular jobs. Go figure. But lets all keep conveniently making one class of government employee the enemy while immortalizing another.

    Having served in both capacities I think that gives me the right to speak out.

  4. What makes them different is they are routinely deployed to places where they are put in harms way. Some got drafted and were not willing participants. They got exposed to radiation, Agent Orange, Tropical diseases and parasites. They were ordered to kill other people called the enemy. They left whole and came back with arms, legs and other physical and mental issues. They were deployed for years at a time away from family and home.

    There is no way you can begin to compare the jobs of cops or firemen to what is expected of people in our military. Your statement is clearly by someone who has not served in the Armed Forces and can't begin to understand what members of the Armed Forces are expected to deal with on a daily basis.

    The Military will not take just anyone these days you have to be smart enough to be a part of a very sophisticated military machine. They have to be excellent physical specimens and if they come back from their service less than whole we owe it to them to take care of the problem the rest of their lives.

    Your firehouse bellyaching and ridiculous comparison really leaves me weak. Take a trip through a VA Hospital sometime and see some of the Veterans who put it on the line and have suffered a lifetime for their service.

  5. Actually had you read my statement you would see that I have served in both capacities as a soldier and as a public servant. I have faced danger for my country and for my local community. In reality the local work has actually proved far more dangerous. So before you criticize one public servant and vilify the other you should ask a real vet and public servant like myself how he feels about his lifetime of service in both capacities. Please tell me and my brothers in arms how undeserving we all are again. By the way, my Cadillac PERSI retirement plan of $1200 a month pales in comparison to my military one. To vilify the public employee and try to yank the carpet out from under him because times are tough shows your true underhanded character.

  6. This post is about the United States Government dedicating the resources to insure Veterans get the medical care they deserve in service to our country. It also is about the high cost of freedom and our role as a super power in a dangerous world.

    It is not about public employees v. Veterans. The VA medical system was the butt of jokes for so many years and the Gulf War generation has raised the standards of care and delivery of that care to Veterans who were discharged with medical needs that we as citizens should feel honored and humbled to support.

    Please keep the comments relevant to this post.

  7. Thanks for the post. It was really helpful to solve my confusion.

    Occupational Medicine

  8. Isn't the VA still using computers from the 80's and 90's? I can't imagine they can keep up with the demand for their services with such poor tech infrastructure. Do you have any info on older veterans using VA services for things like home care and assisted living? Thanks!


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