The discretionary process of funding the Veterans Health Administration is flawed because it fails to match actual dollars with actual demand. This breakdown has led to numerous emergency funding actions by Congress. While advance appropriations, which The American Legion strongly supported for VA health-care funding, can avoid budget delays in the future, VA must be funded on the basis of real cost, without burdening veterans on fixed incomes by doubling deductibles and installing new enrollment
fees that do not guarantee timely access to care.
The Legion strongly opposes the imposition of enrollment fees for veterans. The Legion is of the opinion that enrollment fees are paid through honorable military service, not out of veterans’ pockets as a hedge against a miscalculated discretionary budget.
The American Legion supports:
• Funding reform for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare system that will ensure sufficient, timely and predictable funding.
• The authorization of VA to collect Medicare reimbursements for services provided to enrolled, Medicare-qualified, non-service-connected veterans, similar to the authorization granted to Indian Health Services and TRICARE For Life.
• The full reinstatement of Priority Group 8 veterans and improved performance standards in collections from their insurance companies.
• Protection from a doubling of prescription co-payments and/or the introduction of annual VA health-care enrollment fees.