The Department of Veterans Affairs will have a $163.9 billion budget for the coming fiscal year if President Obama gets his budget through Congress. The extra money will go toward health care expansion, eliminating the disability claims backlog and ending homelessness among veterans.
The proposed VA budget would be a 6.5 percent increase over the 2014 budget according to the VA. There’s a proposed budget increase of 8.7 percent for services specific to women veterans.
“This budget will allow us to continue the progress we have made in helping Veterans secure their place in the middle class,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki, in a written press release. “It is a tangible demonstration of the President’s commitment to ensuring Veterans and their families have the care and benefits they’ve earned and deserve.”
Some highlights from the President’s 2015 budget request for VA.
Major spending categories within the health care budget are:
- $7.2 billion for mental health;
- $2.6 billion for prosthetics;
- $561 million for spinal cord injuries;
- $229 million for traumatic brain injuries;
Among the programs that will expand access under the proposed budget are:
- $567 million in telehealth funding, which helps patients monitor chronic health care conditions and increases access to care, especially in rural and remote locations;
- $403 million for health care services specifically-designed for women, an increase of 8.7 percent over the present level;
- $3.6 million to open two new national cemeteries in Florida and prepare for the opening of two new rural national Veterans burial grounds.
The budget proposal invests $312 million in technology to address the claims backlog and the budget request targets $1.6 billion for programs to prevent or reduce homelessness, including