Tuesday, March 12, 2013

What was hiding in President Obama's 2012 VA Budget?

In 2005 it was a budget of $76 billion with 222,000 full-time employees 5.4 million "patients" but the 2012 request was for 8.3 million veterans.  So how is it that with a budget almost double what it was in 2005 has escaped the reporting done on the "issues" we read about everyday? I didn't find these figures in news reports. I found them from the VA itself. Who knew all this was there all along and didn't tell reporters? At least this is what he requested, but when Congress is the branch writing Bills and funding everything, we see where all this went.

Providing Health Care for Veterans

The Veterans Health Administration is America’s largest integrated health care system with over 1,700 sites of care, serving 8.3 million Veterans each year.

President Obama's VA’s budget request for 2013

“The President’s vision for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is to transform VA into a 21st Century organization that is Veteran-centric, results-driven, and forward-looking. VA has established management systems that ensure accountability, maximize efficiency and effectiveness, and eliminate waste while improving the delivery of high quality and timely benefits and services to Veterans.

VA’s budget request for 2013 provides the resources critical to achieving the President’s vision and will help ensure that Veterans-our clients-receive timely access to the highest quality benefits and services we can provide and which they earned through their sacrifice and service to our Nation. The Department’s resource request for 2013 is $140.3 billion. This includes almost $64 billion in discretionary resources and nearly $76.4 billion in mandatory funding.

Our discretionary budget request represents an increase of $2.7 billion, or nearly 4.5 percent, over the 2012 enacted level.”

Stewardship of Resources
Supports management systems that ensure accountability, maximize efficiency and effectiveness, and eliminate waste while improving the delivery of high quality and timely benefits and services to Veterans.

Medical Care
Secures timely, predictable funding for health care through 2014 with advance appropriations
$1.352 billion (up $333 million) to further VA’s integrated plan to end Veteran homelessness, including $235 million for the Homeless Grants and Per Diem program to aid community organizations
$6.2 billion (up $312 million) to expand inpatient, residential, and outpatient mental health programs
$7.2 billion (up $550 million) to expand institutional and non-institutional long-term care services.
$335 million (up $9 million) is for tele-home health to improve access to care
$403 million (up $60 million) for the needs of women Veterans
$3.3 billion (up $510 million) to meet the needs ofover 610,000 Veterans returning from U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Job Corps
A Presidential initiative of $1 billion over the next five years to establish a conservation program impacting up to 20,000 veterans to protect and rebuild America’s land and resources.
Benefits Claims Processing
$2.164 billion (up $145 million over 2012) to support improved benefits processing through increased staff, improved business processes, and information technology enhancements
Supports the completion of 1.4 million disability compensation and pension claims, a 36% increase over 2011
Provides funding to complete 4 million education claims, a 19% increase over 2011
National Cemetery Administration
$258 million for operations and maintenance to ensure VA’s cemeteries are maintained as national shrines
The budget provides funding to expand access to burial options for rural Veterans.
Information Technology
80% of 2013 IT Budget supports direct delivery of medical care and benefits to Veterans Over $3.3 billion for a reliable and accessible IT infrastructure, a high-performing workforce, and modernized information systems for Veteran services and benefits
$53 million for development and implementation of the Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record (VLER) initiative
$169 million for integrated Electronic Healthcare Record (iEHR), a joint effort with DoD to share health information
$128 million for paperless claims processing system VBMS
Supports four major medical facility projects already underway.
Entitlement Benefits
$76.3 billion for mandatory benefits, including compensation for Agent Orange presumptive conditions and Post-9/11 GI Bill education benefits