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Posted at 08:59 AM on Tuesday, February 10, 2009 by post8503WASHINGTON, DC., Feb.9, 2009—Four of the nation's leading veterans service organizations are urging the new Administration and Congress to invest $54.6 billion, an increase of $3.6 billion over last year, to adequately meet veterans' healthcare and benefits needs.
The recommendation is contained in The Independent Budget (IB)-- www.independentbudget.org --a full picture of veterans' needs and funding recommendations, by veterans for veterans.
"We urge President Obama to adopt The Independent Budget's recommendations when his first budget is released later this year. We need sufficient, timely and predictable funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical and benefits system to ensure that those who have served and sacrificed get all the services they have earned and deserve," said Randy L. Pleva, Sr., national president of Paralyzed Veterans of America. "It's good for veterans. It's good for the economy. It's good for America."
The Independent Budget—an annual comprehensive budget and policy document co-authored by AMVETS, Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Paralyzed Veterans of America, and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW)—includes recommendations of $46.6 billion for health care, $575 million for prosthetic research, $1.6 billion for benefits processing, and nearly $2 billion for major and minor construction. To deliver sufficient, timely and predictable resources in the future, the IB recommends that Congress convert veterans' healthcare funding to an advance appropriations process. This will ensure that VA will always have access to its funding on time.