The House of Representatives approved $109 billion for the 2010 VA budget this week and may very soon go for final vote in the Senate. Comparing that budget to the expected costs of treating veterans in 2010, the budget may be up to 45% short.
The 2010 VA budget includes enough money to treat 419,000 veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation enduring Freedom in fiscal 2010. However, by the end of July last year, the Veterans’ Health Administration had already provided medical care to 480,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. According to the Veterans for Common Sense, this number is going to continue to rise and could total 610,000 veterans in 2010.
To counter the claims of the budget being underfunded, representatives from the House appropriations subcommittee responsible for VA funding point out the money approved is more money than the veterans group originally requested.
The 2010 VA budget is still waiting for final Senate approval so nothing is set in stone.