Veterans Affairs Budget

Benjamin KrauseSecretary Bob McDonald should be proud of his haggling with Congress given Veterans Affairs’ budget increase to $182 billion for FY 2017 as approved by the President.

The funding increase was deemed necessary to fund the largest transformation in VA history, expand access to timely health care that will hopefully be high-quality, and benefits. I will be curious to see when this transformation will take form and how much taxpayers will need to pay while VA gets it wrong.

VETERANS AFFAIRS BUDGET HIGHLIGHTS

Funding Highlights from VA.gov:

­­The President’s 2017 budget provides $78.7 billion in total discretionary budget authority for the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide needed care and other benefits to eligible Veterans, their families and survivors. This includes:

  • With the 2017 advance appropriations, a total of $65.0 billion for VA medical care to provide high-quality, timely health care services to Veterans and other eligible beneficiaries. In addition, the Budget requests $66.4 billion in 2018 advance appropriations.
  • Supporting improvements in Veterans’ mental health care, telehealth care, life-saving treatment for Hepatitis C, specialized care for women Veterans, long-term care, and benefits for Veterans’ caregivers.
  • Investing $1.6 billion in programs that will continue VA’s gains toward ending Veteran homelessness.
  • Providing $7.2 billion in discretionary funding for Veterans’ care in the community, which, combined with resources from the 2014 Veterans Choice Act, will support over 15.6 million medical procedures for Veterans by non-VA providers.
  • Strengthening Veterans’ benefits programs by improving the timeliness of non-disability claims and further enhancing disability claims processing accuracy and efficiency.
  • Increasing burial access for Veterans and eligible family members with the construction of new national cemeteries in Colorado and western New York, and national cemetery expansions in Jacksonville, Florida, and South Florida.

Reforms:

  • Continues the largest department-wide transformation in VA’s history through the MyVA initiative, which is changing VA’s culture, processes and capabilities to put the needs, expectations and interests of Veterans and their families first.
  • Proposes a simplified appeals initiative to provide Veterans with the timely, fair and streamlined appeals decisions they deserve.
  • Supports legislation to streamline the care in the community programs.

Source: http://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/25724/care-and-benefits-for-veterans-strengthened-by-182-billion-va-budget/

46 COMMENTS

    • 02/11/2016

      Dear Warhorse,

      Skim not a scam—–Pure Treason.

      Biggest skim—My first Book made that statement—I am 23 books in!

      Sincerely,

      Don Karg

      • The hurting of United States Veterans is what the VA does…I made a visit to the Concord, California “Vet Center” actually, I took a friend that was in Iraq to be seen and maybe get the much needed counseling he needs it is a nice office but very discriminatory and has been since Denver Mills put it into the toilet but he got a raise and a bonus along with his worn out knee pads which I am sure he had bronzed and passed on to the next team leader who was a lowly VSO name of Jeff Jewell destroyed records of hundreds of Veterans then ends up with a Team Leader position! WTF! The system is flawed as we all know but the VA Medical in Northern California will deny a Veterans certain things because it “cost too much” but they will take that bonus for keeping their budget under a certain dollar amount, they even get a plague stating that they are a cheap self serving hair ball! (Trying not to swear here and everyone knows what a hair ball is) Like for instance denying the men and women as the VA has done always is how they get their greedy lack of compassion. bonus. It is amazing that discrimination is alive and well with the VARO with their constant threats to Veterans and in knowing that the VSO and NSO are in partnership with the VA is just a sign that perhaps a stock to buy is the KY Gel? FTVA!

  1. Yesterday, on Channel 9, WFTV, Orlando, Fl. it was announced the POTUS is asking for “$4 trillion for his 2017 budget!”
    I guess Christmas is comming early for all government agencies!
    How is he expecting taxpayer’s to pay for this? Our National Debt is, so far, being put squarely on the backs of grandchildren, if not onto generations to follow!
    When will these idiots realize a “nation of debtors” cannot survive!

    • Keep in mind crazy elf, Obama has requested all kinds of things over the years, but even the most free spending in Congress has voted to reject his crazy budgets.
      A quick search on congressional votes on Obama budgets show many credible news sources showing his budgets failing 98-1 in the Senate in 2015, rejected 99-0 in 2012, failing 97-0 in 2011, failing in the House 413-2 in 2014, etc.

      His budget requests have been so crazy over the years, even most of his own party won’t vote for them.

      • I guess this will (hopefully) be one more failed attempt to bankrupt America.

        I received an email this afternoon. Obama is flying to Springfield, Illinois today. Here’s some additional taxpayers money going to waste. So far, according to reputable sources (GAO), Obama (for vacations only) in the past seven (7) years has spent over $70 MILLION on these.
        On the Christmas Vacation, they went on a “spending spree” around the islands. Costing the taxpayers over $38 thousand! There was more. Lots more during that little junket!

  2. VA Spin Machine is approaching terminal velocity in it’s spinning BS into cotton candy here for a big payday.
    Contradictions can be found as well.
    They wish to further expand access to community care through Choice Act but very last bullet point states, “•Supports legislation to streamline the care in the community programs.” Does “streamline” mean further bottleneck access to care through the obstructive middlemen contractors whom actually “administer Choice”, yet do not pay the bills timely and has a class act poor rating all round?

    New National Cemeteries? Would these be great buys on toxic landfills by chance?

    I think I have reached my yearly bull $hit consumption limit for the year after reading all those corporate begging bullet points.

  3. Why is Veteran Suicide Prevention Programs no longer listed in these long bullet points? Does the VA consider it remotely acceptable that 22 Vets commit suicide each and every day?
    Spin Machine is totally off-balance in it’s velocity curve of persuasion.

    Is this merely “election year PsyOps” to make it appear the VA is doing the right thing?

  4. Another bullet point not included is:

    Ensure that overpaid VA executives will continue to be able to rip off taxpayers to fund unnecessary moves from state to state and for undeserved annual bonuses

    • Let’s not forget —
      How about making sure “science experiments on veterans” which produce “miracle drugs FOR Veterans”, enrich ($$$) the scientists/physicians and not the veterans!
      Like was the case, most recently, with Dr. Shinazi!

      • What an unfortunate ‘name’, Dr. ShiNazi has. That scum is no better than that little young rich dweeb that gained national media and angst towards that when he bought an HIV Drug for his Big Pharma Co., then increased the price to $750. for -1- Tablet..this Pleading The Fifth where it’s undeniably corrupt, as those two did, just burns my ass. It’s become a trend actually.
        Seems there is an outright lack of respect for any authority…I just do not get it.

    • Jonnie boy. you are an ill informed moron. As you spend your welfare checks (government hand out) on your smokes, inhale deeply you moron

      • Ben, if you care to pursue this person for misusing her VA computer to attack veterans, I would suggest emailing a complaint to the Administrator at the VA Network Operations Center in DC. His contact information can be found in the registration information for that IP address.
        They might be surprised if they seize that computer and do a forensic examination to see how extensively it was misused.

      • What is wrong with you? Why are you so disrespectful to veterans?? Are you truly part of the VA?? I pray that is not so.

  5. Bob McDonald’s office is as bad as other employees.they just don’t get it.

    Veterans write to them for help and they lie to the veterans.telling them untruths.like the VA employee causing you problems no longer works for the VA.

    When the veteran advises them the employee.is still employeed.McDonald’s office cuts off all correspondence.

    How’s that for transparency

    Veterans that have been punished or mistreated are not good enough to fight for.

    McDonald’s likely a ground hog.comes out once.oh shit they seen me.better get back in my hole.before they ask if spring will bring better times.

    • @James

      That made me laugh!!! Except instead of groundhog day as the time to come out and look at his shadow, he or Gibson crawl into D.C. like all the Banks did, all flying in on their Lear Jets, with hands open and lots of pockets. Then, back into the shadows or Disney Lounge.

      Another bullet point missing in that article is the VA MUST SHOW where EVERY *cent* is spent, with some accounting firm in Iceland, totally unconnected to the VA, for true accountability…yeah, that was not even on bottom of their patent leather shoes as an approach.

      What use is the Congressional Veterans Committees if they cannot hold the balls to the walls?

      Election time…we Vets need to somehow become a “Veterans Collective Voting Force” (VCVF…has a ring to it), but not a PAC, just the power of our informed votes as Veterans, regardless of party or lack thereof, to simply be a collective force to hold all these politicians accountable for turning blind eyes to unmistakable corruption and fraud.
      Rant out. It’s cold as Graves/Rubens’ crocodile tears here where I live….and I have the flu 🙁 🙂

      • Last I knew no public employee flies in on Lear Jets. Guess you don’t read the news, cause seems he is visiting VA facilities every week- like I think last week opening a huge project in LA for homeless vets, and recruiting more doctors and nurses that we need. Sounds like an ambitious and much needed plan.

      • @Wade

        That was what is called a metaphor. Laugh much? Seems you are seeing rainbows and fairy dust as well. If you are not outraged with the problems of the VA then you may be very well part of the problem, Vet or not.

      • What metaphor?? Not seeing fairy dust- but hoping. Think the VA needs a magic wand to fix decades of problems and help us all in a very short amount of time. Yes, I am outraged that we all are not getting what we all need, but I am not ready to say that many are not treated well-including me- and that things are not hopefully moving in the right direction- finally!!

  6. Veterans should keep in mind what the President has in his budget could be vastly different than what actually gets appropriated in Congress.
    Something also to keep in mind is that billions can be appropriated, but the VA having that money means nothing to veterans without the proper oversight by Congress to insure its not just wasted.

    • Don’t count on Congress. They are as crooked as they come! Most will say or do whatever to get reelected and keep taking our money and benefits we all are not privy to! No wonder their approval rating is at 14%, I think.

      • I don’t disagree. My point is that people get all worked up over what a President requests in their budgets, but what actually comes out the other end when the sausage is made is often vastly different.

  7. There is a new Presidential candidate who is trying to get on ballots around the country, Henry Hewes, and one of the things he is proposing if he is elected is to eliminate the VA and replace it with a program similar to Medicare. Any thoughts?

  8. 182 Billion divided by 55 million (estimated Veterans &/or their dependents/beneficiaries = at least 3 million for each Veteran and/or dependent/claimant/beneficiary (to spend on their on health care choices or draw from the interest to live) which also = end of backlog and end of ridiculous annual budget amounts requested by VA from the American taxpayer. @ Make me VA Secretary. Truth-b-Told.

  9. Some readers may have noticed a VA troll going by the tag name “amydoesit”. I just blocked her for insulting my readers from a Department of Veterans Affairs IP address. (IP: 152.132.10.130, 152-132-10-130.tic.va.gov) If she springs up again, like so many other trolls, please let me know right away so I can block her again.

    • Who let the dogs out ! Oh oh I’m next. Can anyone find out where she’s located and who she works for the VA or Bob McDonald’s office or the oig office.

      Or someone who is hurting veterans from the regional office.who and where ever their from should have the FBI knocking on that door. Crimes against the disabled.

    • I wonder what Amydoesit would say when the IG shows up at her location in Pearl City, HI to arrest her for misusing government computers to attack veterans on blogs. They could easily track her IP address to the exact machine used, and time stamps from her comments to prove she was on duty and logged into the machine.

      Or better yet, emailing an abuse complaint to the registrar of that IP address, William Affeldt at the VA Network Operations Center in Washington, DC. His direct phone number is also listed, so perhaps a phone call to let him know how VA IT resources are being misused.
      I’m sure the Director there in Honolulu would be interested in how his employees spend their time attacking veterans…while veterans are likely waiting in that clinic to finish her little attack and tell them their appointments have been canceled.
      Doing an IP lookup shows it goes to the VA in HI. Doing an NSLookup on the IP shows the detailed registration information on that IP, including an 800 number to call.
      Gee amydoesit, what ever made you think veterans were welfare taking morons?

      • There are a lot of free software programs available online that allow a savvy user to spoof their IP address to just about anywhere or anything they want.

      • 91 of these facts can be verified I will report it to the news.need the facts time place when where.if were able to pin point where it’s coming from someone has to be told.

        If you can verify this get me the information hand I will write hand call everyone I can.

        This employee has to go or she/he will continue to hurt veterans.they may not do anything but they will know.we know and have the ability to find where these attacks are coming from.

        We must peace a paper trail.so they can’t say we didn’t know this was going on.

        Thus is good proof they will attack and proves the VA is adversarial.

      • All this should take is a call to the IGs office with a complaint about misusing government equipment on government time, along with the IP address and the URL to the blog post where the comments were made.
        If the IG were serious about investigating, they would contact Ben for the server logs which would contain the IP address and time/date stamps. They could then easily track back to who was logged in to the PC with that IP address at the time the comments were made.
        Reporting to the media that a VA employee is attacking veterans by commenting on blogs using government IT equipment on government time as proven by the IP address should be enough for a good reporter to start asking questions.
        Even if the IP address was spoofed, it would have had to have been done by someone knowledgeable about VA IP addresses, but I highly doubt it was spoofed.
        I would not at all be shocked if that PC was examined and they found all kinds of evidence of it being misused. Some flunky at the VA just doesn’t decide one day to blast comments. I’m sure misusing their PC was a common occurrence.
        …while veterans waited…

      • If the VA finds out ours.I hope they press charges on me.so I can hand a judge 10 years of evidence.I have on how they used and use the disruptive committee to punish veterans and no recourse to fight them.

        I’m confident if this would ever end up in court.and the evidence I have.they would put some employees in jail and the VA would have to pay a lot money.

        They know what they did was wrong.but did it anyway.

        They have no evidence or proof.but I do. Paper trail is so important.they don’t remember the lies they stated years ago and respond with something completely different.they prove themselves the veteran was telling the truth all along.

      • THAT WIDESPREAD VA ATTITUDE COMES FROM THE FACT THAT ALL VA EMPLOYEES BELIEVE VETERANS ARE DIRTBAGS GETTING FREEBIES.

        THEY DON’T REALIZE THAT WE ACTUALLY PUT OUR LIVES ON THE LINE FOR HER RIGHT TO SAY THAT AND SOME OF US GOT INJURED AND DISEASED IN THE PROCESS OF PROTECTING HER FREEDOMS AND RIGHTS.

        WE LEFT OUR FAMILY AND LOVED ONES TO GO TO SOME GOD FORSAKEN THIRD WORLD COUNTRY THAT ALLEGEDLY NEEDED OUR HELP TO COMBAT TYRANNY THAT IS SURE TO COME TO OUR OWN COUNTRY AND HOMETOWN AND OUR OWN FAMILY IF WE IGNORE IT. THAT’S OUR REWARD, VA EMPLOYEES THAT HATE US AND WANT TO KILL US ANY WAY THEY CAN.

        WITH DUE RESPECT TO ALL THE VETERANS THAT GAVE THEIR LIFE TO THAT NOBLE CAUSE, THE TYRANNY IS HERE IN THE UNTIED STATES OF AMERICA AND WE’RE THE ONES WHO NOW NEED HELP TO COMBAT IT AND NOBODY IS COMING TO OUR RESCUE. VERY SAD.

        ALL GAVE SOME — SOME GAVE ALL

  10. Who let the Trolls out? Remember to never ever feed the trolls. Like Gremlins, they indeed multiply and it’s not pretty.

    Nice “tracking” of “amydoesit” 91veteran!!! Makes one wonder if the “it” in name stands for Information Technology?

  11. I am not holding my breath,Does anyone else know that if you live outside the US like in the Philippines there is a different benefits book?
    I would ask why I can not receive the same benefits as other disabled Vietnam Veterans,we all fought in the same war and I also have the gift that keeps on giving,”Agent Orange”I was told by VA before I moved here I was covered,can you imagine the VA Lied to me!!!
    Semper Fi

    • I find that hard to believe that the VA would lie to anybody since we have such fine upstanding and courteous VA employees like AMYDOESIT. Just multiply her by the thousands of federal employees and you have a pretty good idea about what they think of us veterans. They all believe that they’re doing us a big favor. Someone needs to remind these VA employees that if it wasn’t for veterans, they wouldn’t have a job in the first place. She’s the perfect example of where our federal tax money is going. No doubt she got a bonus and promotion for those comments. I just want to know why she obsesses over genitals? What would Freud say?

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