IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release

October 3, 2002

No. 02-18

(301) 585-4000
Contact:
Mokie Porter

 

VIETNAM VETERANS OF AMERICA HOLDS KEY MEETING
WITH OMB HEAD


(Washington, D.C.) – Vietnam Veterans of America President Thomas H. Corey along with several other veterans representatives met in a substantive, one-hour session with Office of Management and Budget Director Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. “This was a highly valuable opportunity for the leaders of the veterans groups to meet with the OMB head to discuss the dollars and cents of the Veterans Administration budget face to face,” Corey said.

“It was a productive meeting. We were able to make a strong pitch for giving America’s veterans their fair share of badly needed health-care dollars by increasing the VA budget appropriately. Mr. Daniels was very receptive to our concerns and wants to continue working with us to meet the needs of veterans.”

Corey stressed the importance of the fact that at least $25.5 billion is needed, at a minimum, in the FY 2003 VA budget simply to maintain the Veterans Health Care Administration in its current, less-than-perfect state. “The proposed budget falls seriously short of that number,” Corey said. “That means that the VA will not be able to do anything about relieving excessive waiting times or restoring vitally needed services, particularly in the areas of prosthetics, spinal cord injury, blind and visually impaired services, and serious mental illness.”

Corey asked Daniels to consider a plan that would save money by allowing veterans to use their Medicare benefits at VA hospitals. “Nearly fifty percent of veterans who use the VA system have Medicare,” Corey said. “If the VA accepted Medicare, it would help relieve some of the current problems. There would be a great savings in time, money, and energy. This would benefit the VA and, more importantly, the veterans who depend on VA for their health-care needs. We are not asking for anything more than the benefits earned by those who served. ”

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Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) is the nation's only congressionally chartered veterans service organization dedicated to the needs of Vietnam-era veterans and their families.  VVA's founding principle is “Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another.”

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