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Posted at 03:28 PM on Friday, June 12, 2009 by vermont
In This Issue:
1. VA Committees Hold Hearings on CARES
2. House Committee Clears Advanced Funding/Other Vet Bills
3. Defense Bill Update
1. VA Committees Hold Hearings on CARES: This week, VFW testified before both House and Senate Veterans' Affairs Committees on the future of VA's health infrastructure. VFW has been supportive of VA's Capitol Asset Realignment for Enhanced Services process (CARES). The CARES model is a systematic, data-driven assessment of VA's facilities designed to evaluate present and future demands for health-care services. We testified that the strength of CARES is in the decision making framework that it created enabling VA to reassess annually their construction priorities and veterans' needs. Currently VA has a large number of projects underway and some still in the planning and design phase. One of the challenges remains the funding issue. We stressed the need for Congress and the Administration to provide full funding for major construction accounts to reduce the backlog and to begin funding future construction priorities. Another difficulty has been communication between VA and the veteran communities affected by the changes to the CARES process. We believe that VA needs to do a better job of explaining what their plans are for every location based on the facts so as to not create a sense of urgency among veterans that there care is being taken away. Access to care for all involved, especially those in rural areas, is a major challenge and we believe that many of the answers lie outside of the construction process.
To read our testimony visit the VFW website at: http://www.vfw.org/index.cfm?
For more on both hearings, visit the House and Senate VA websites at: