Paralyzed Veterans of America Applauds Clarification that All VA Programs are Exempt from Sequestration
Cuts Would Have Had Severe Consequences for VA Health Care
WASHINGTON, April 24, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Paralyzed Veterans of America (Paralyzed Veterans) applauds the Administration for ensuring that the health care and benefits needs of veterans will be protected from serious cuts to funding that would have devastated veterans and their families. Yesterday, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) finally provided clarification that all programs administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are exempt from the automatic cuts of sequestration.
"We are pleased that the Administration has reaffirmed its commitment to veterans and their families by ensuring that all VA programs will be spared from the severe cuts that sequestration would have caused," stated Bill Lawson, National President of Paralyzed Veterans of America. "As I explained during my annual testimony in March before the House and Senate VA Committees, sequestration would have had drastic consequences for VA at a time when we already know it is struggling to meet staffing requirements, particularly in the spinal cord injury service."
Due to a legal ambiguity created by the Budget Control Act last year, the VA was left with the prospect of facing up to a two percent reduction in spending, particularly in its health care programs. Paralyzed Veterans joined with its partners who developed The Independent Budget—AMVETS, Disabled American Veterans, and Veterans of Foreign Wars—as well as members of both the House and Senate to continually call on the Administration and OMB to clarify the protection of VA programs from sequestration. In fact, bipartisan legislation has been introduced in the House and Senate—H.R. 3895 and S. 2128—that would remove the legal ambiguity once and for all.
"We still believe that this legislation must be enacted to ensure that veterans and their families do not face the possibility of cuts to VA services anytime in the future. We hope that Congress will put this issue to rest once-and-for-all," added Lawson.
With OMB's clarification, veterans will not have to worry about reductions to the critical health care services that they have earned.
Paralyzed Veterans was founded by a group of seriously injured American heroes from the "Greatest Generation" of World War II. They created a nonprofit organization to meet the challenges that they faced back in the 1940s — from a medical community not ready to treat them to an inaccessible world. For more than 66 years, Paralyzed Veterans' national office and its 34 chapters across the nation have been making America a better place for all veterans and people with disabilities. (www.pva.org)
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