Disabled Veterans Seek Guaranteed Health Care

Disabled American Veterans (DAV)
Tuesday, 23 April 2002

The Disabled American Veterans (DAV), one of the nation's largest and most respected veterans organizations, has begun an all-out campaign to guarantee that veterans who seek medical services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) actually get the care they need.

Millions of veterans who are eligible for health care under existing law do not get it each year because of inadequate funding. Changing veterans health care from a discretionary to a mandatory program, as proposed by the DAV, would correct the existing problem where annual funding of veterans health programs falls far short of what is required to serve all eligible veterans.

Instead of having to be approved each year, funding at the level needed to serve all eligible veterans would be provided automatically. Making veterans health care mandatory would eliminate the year-to-year uncertainty about funding levels that has prevented the VA from adequately planning for and meeting the growing needs of veterans seeking treatment.

George H. Steese, Jr., DAV's National Commander, said the DAV has developed the plan because of the health care rationing that veterans currently experience. "The men and women who have served in the military and sacrificed for America are all entitled to top-quality health care," he said. "It is a right all veterans have earned, but one that all too many are routinely denied."

The DAV proposal has strong support in the veterans community as well as Congress.

There are clear indications from those on Capitol Hill currently involved in funding veterans programs that the DAV plan is an excellent alternative to the current system. Because of that, Steese said the prospects for passage of legislation this year are very encouraging.

The DAV is a congressionally chartered non-profit organization that represents more than 2.7 million disabled veterans. It is dedicated to a single purpose: building better lives for our nation's disabled veterans and their families.

For more information, or to contact Disabled American Veterans (DAV), see their website at: www.dav.org

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