Congressman Jerry Moran announced this week that progress has been made to ensure Congress approves timely funding for veterans' medical care. Moran participated in a House Veterans Affairs Committee hearing this week where he and his colleagues pushed for the final 2010 federal budget to include an "advanced appropriations" provision for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care.
"Even as Congress has made progress in the past few years improving VA funding, usual funding delays have jeopardized medical care services at VA hospitals and clinics," Moran said. "Our veterans deserve timely resources from Congress in order to meet their health care needs. Advancing appropriations to fund the VA on a timely basis will result in improved quality care for veterans and better use of taxpayers' dollars."
Delayed congressional funding reduces the ability of the VA to provide quality care to veterans and hampers the VA's capacity to recruit trained medical professionals, operate facilities and purchase new equipment. The "advanced appropriations" provision was included in the 2010 budget and will allow Congress to provide funding for VA medical care one-year in advance of the regular appropriations process.
"Within the past two decades, there were only four years when the VA budget was enacted on time. The implementation of the advanced appropriations' provision will provide predictable funding to ensure that veterans receive timely and uninterrupted medical care." Moran said.
Moran is a cosponsor H.R. 1016, the Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act of 2009 to provide "advanced appropriations" for VA medical care. This legislation is among the top priorities for Veterans Service Organizations, including the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America; American Veterans (AMVETS); Disabled American Veterans; Paralyzed Veterans of America; the Veterans of Foreign Wars; and the American Legion.