HENRY BROWN BACKS EARLY BUDGET FOR VA HEALTH CARE
US Congressman Henry E. Brown, Representing the 1st District of South Carolina
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact Henry E. Brown Office
June 12, 2009
Sharon P. Axson
Director of Communications
BROWN BACKS EARLY BUDGET FOR VA HEALTH CARE
WASHINGTON- Thursday, Congressman Henry E. Brown Jr. (R-SC) and his colleagues on the Committee on Veterans Affairs unanimously gave support to a bill that would provide for two-year advanced appropriations for certain Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) health care accounts.
Specifically, H.R. 1016, the Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act of 2009 would ensure a timely budget for VA health programs by requiring an appropriation for VA health care one year in advance of when the funds would actually become available. In 19 of the 20 previous years, Congress failed to approve funding by the first of the fiscal year, complicating efforts to provide an efficient and effective health system. Congressman Brown indicated his support for the legislation on Wednesday and made the following additional comments on the advance appropriations:
“As the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Health I believe it is of chief importance to make sure that veterans receive the benefits they deserve. However this is no easy task as it requires the VA hospitals and care facilities to hire health care professionals, train support staffs and purchase medical supplies in a timely manner to ensure that every veteran can access the highest quality healthcare.
I am proud of the significant strides we have made since my first term as a member of the Veterans Affairs Committee to correct underfunding of veterans’ programs, but as the VA cannot plan for the future, let alone make staffing or supply purchasing decisions, it remains difficult to provide a timely and sufficient budget. Fortunately, the advance appropriation is a substantial step towards remedying this problem.
This legislation will serve to actually get money moving towards the VA facilities sooner as Congress will approve the VA’s budget for veterans’ health one year in advance of when the funds would actually begin flowing. This should facilitate the accomplishment of our goals within the VA and it will allow the VA further planning time to provide sufficient and timely care for all of our nation’s heroes.”
Learn more on Congressman Brown’s work for the veterans of the First District and the rest of the nation.