Cuts and Consequences

Reprinted from PN October 2012

Cuts to portions of funding for VA would have severe consequences.

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Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) says significant cuts to portions of funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) would have severe consequences.

During a joint hearing of the House Committees on Veterans’ Affairs and Armed Services in August, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki admitted VA still faces sequestration cuts in its funding due to take effect next January. 

Shinseki stated VA is exempt from sequestration except for “administrative costs.” Unfortunately, he didn’t explain how that term is interpreted.

“It is simply unconscionable that the offices and operations that ensure delivery of healthcare and benefits services in the VA face the prospect of reductions in funding,” says PVA President Bill Lawson. “Cutting funding for the administrative functions of VA healthcare and benefits systems will certainly have a seriously negative impact on veterans and their families.”

Earlier this year the administration claimed VA programs would be exempt from sequestration. However, it now appears this isn’t the case. PVA believes it’s critically important that the House and Senate consider the bipartisan legislation that has been introduced — H.R. 3895 and S. 2128 — that would remove the legal ambiguity once and for all.

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