President's request for the Department of Veterans Affairs Fiscal Year
VA Department of Veterans Affairs
Office of Public Affairs
Washington, DC 20420
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 26, 2009
President's 2010 Budget Request Strongly Supports VA Programs Funding
Plan Improves Access, Modernizes Technology
WASHINGTON - President Obama's first proposed budget for the Department
of Veterans Affairs (VA) expands eligibility for health care to an
additional 500,000 deserving Veterans over the next five years, meets
the need for continued growth in programs for the combat Veterans of
Iraq and Afghanistan, and provides the resources to deliver quality
health care for the Nation's 5.5 million Veteran patients.
The 2010 budget request is a significant step toward realizing a vision
shared by the President and Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K.
Shinseki to transform VA into an organization that is people-centric,
results-driven and forward-looking.
"Our success must encompass cost-effectiveness," Shinseki said. "We are
stewards of taxpayer dollars, and we will include appropriate metrics to
accurately gauge the quality of our care and the effectiveness of our
If accepted by Congress, the President's budget proposal would increase
VA's budget from $97.7 billion this fiscal year to $112.8 billion for
the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, 2009. This is in addition to the $1.4
billion provided for VA projects in the American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act of 2009.
The 2010 budget represents the first step toward increasing
discretionary funding for VA efforts by $25 billion over the next five
years. The gradual expansion in health care enrollment that this would
support will open hospital and clinic doors to more than 500,000
Veterans by 2013 who have been regrettably excluded from VA medical care
benefits since 2003. The 2010 budget request provides the resources to
achieve this level of service while maintaining high quality and timely
care for lower-income and service-disabled Veterans who currently rely
on VA medical care.
The new budget provides greater benefits for Veterans who are medically
retired from active duty, allowing for the first time all military
retirees to keep their full VA disability compensation along with their
retired pay. The President's budget request also provides the resources
for effective implementation of the post-9/11 GI Bill -- providing
unprecedented levels of educational support to the men and women who
have served our country through active military duty.
The new budget will support additional specialty care in such areas as
prosthetics, vision and spinal cord injury, aging, and women's health.
New VA Centers of Excellence will focus on improving these critical
The proposed fiscal year 2010 budget also addresses the tragic fact of
homelessness among Veterans. It expands VA's current services through a
collaborative pilot program with non-profit organizations that is aimed
at maintaining stable housing for vulnerable Veterans at risk of
homelessness, while providing them with supportive services to help them
get back on their feet through job training, preventive care, and other
Finally, the President's budget request provides the necessary
investments to carry VA services to rural communities that are too often
unable to access VA care. The President's budget expands VA mental
health screening and treatment with a focus on reaching Veterans in
rural areas in part through an increase in Vet Centers and mobile health
clinics. New outreach funding will help rural Veterans and their
families stay informed of these resources and encourage them to pursue