(Washington, D.C.) – In his statement kicking off the campaign to replace
the current discretionary method of funding the VA's medical operations with
a mandatory model, Thomas H. Corey, national president of Vietnam Veterans
of America (VVA), underscored the need to fix a broken system.
"We're here today, the commanders, presidents, or executive directors of
nine major veterans service organizations, to launch a campaign to fix the
manner in which the veterans health care system is funded," Corey said. "The
current method of discretionary funding for the medical operations of the
Department of Veterans Affairs is broken. The VA has to compete with dozens
of other programs for a sliver of a shrinking discretionary pie. This puts
veterans at risk. This is wrong.
"We believe the VA health care system warrants a predictable funding stream
to care for those who have borne the battle. We believe that a new model of
mandatory funding, with checks and balances to ensure managerial
accountability, will provide what the system needs and what veterans
deserve," Corey said. Such a model would be based on the per capita use of
the VA system, indexed annually for medical inflation.
VVA is one of nine VSOs who have come together "with one voice to make a
case for the change the veterans health care system so desperately need,"
Corey said. Those in attendance at the press briefing, which was held today
at the National Press Club, were Robert Spanogle, national adjutant of The
American Legion; Jim King, executive director of American Veterans (AMVETS);
Thomas Miller, executive director of Blinded Veterans Association (BVA);
Alan W. Bowers, national commander of Disabled American Veterans (DAV); Mike
Marcus, public affairs director of Jewish War Veterans of the USA; Hershel
Gober, national legislative director of the Military Order of the Purple
Heart; Delatorro L. McNeal, executive director of Paralyzed Veterans of
America (PVA); and Dennis Cullinan, director, Legislative Services, Veterans
of Foreign Wars (VFW).