The three Independent Budget (IB) coauthors (VFW, DAV and PVA) released a fiscal year 2018 recommendation today that calls for an 8.3 percent increase in medical care funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs. The Administration has yet to release a FY 2018 budget request, which is normally presented the first week of February, but such a delay is not unusual in the first year of a new president. Highlights from new IB report include:
- $88.9 billion in overall discretionary budget authority for VA –– an approximate 10 percent increase over FY 2017;
- $76.9 billion for veterans’ medical care funding for FY 2018 –– a $5.9 billion or 8.3 percent increase over FY 2017;
- $82.8 billion for veterans medical care for FY 2019 advance appropriations –– a 7.6 percent increase over the IB’s FY 2018 recommendation;
- $3.1 billion for the Veterans Benefits Administration –– a $278 million or 9.7 percent increase over FY 2017;
- $2.5 billion for VA construction programs to repair, renovate, expand and replace VA’s aging infrastructure –– a $1.5 billion increase over FY 2017; and
- $713 million for medical and prosthetic research –– a $38 million or 5.6 percent increase over FY 2017, as well as an additional $75 million to support the Million Veteran Program.
The three IB coauthors have presented budget and policy recommendations to Congress and the Administration for 30 years. The recommendations, which are supported by 27 other organizations, are meant to inform Congress and the Administration of the needs of all veterans, and to offer substantive solutions to address the many health care and benefits challenges they face. The IB serves as the veterans groups’ benchmark for properly funding VA so it can provide the timely delivery of quality health care, and accurate and appropriate benefits. View the new IB.