President Trump's proposed 2018 budget set before the people today ensures the nation's veterans will receive high quality health care in a timely fashion. Trump is committed to transforming the VA department across the board and raising the standard of performance that is justly deserved by our Veterans. To meet this goal his 2018 budget proposes $186.5 billion be awarded to the Department of Veteran Affairs. A total of $75.2 billion will be devoted to health care services that will allow the expansion of services to over 7 million patients. From that total, $862 million will be set aside for new and enhanced health-care facilities and $855 million for other construction projects that will include a new outpatient clinic at Livermore, California.

Homeless and at-risk veterans not forgotten

The proposed total increases community care by 13 percent over the 2017 budget to $13.2 billion, with $604 million going to Caregiver's benefits, $316 billion for treatment of traumatic brain injuries, and $8.8 billion for Veteran long-term care. A requested $1.7 billion will go straight to programs that help our homeless and at-risk Veterans, of which $320 million will go to promoting housing stability, $543 million for the HUD-VASH program for at-risk Veterans and their families, and $257 million will go toward grants and per diem payments to community based organizations that support transitional housing. The new budget also contains a request of $3.5 billion in mandatory budget authority in 2019 for the Choice Program that will allow veterans to choose between the VA direct care or community care.

Strengthening VA system

President Trump's proposed budget for veterans will ensure that there will be a continuing transformation within the VA system and allow for premier services and benefits. It also includes 82 legislative proposals that will enhance better services for the veterans, reduce claim backlog, and help to reform the appeal process that at present time is ineffective in confusing.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) will receive $159.6 million to enhance oversight and assistance and it has been requested that $4.1 billion be given for information technology investments to enhance IT infrastructure, modernize veterans electronic health records and strengthen cyber security.

“The 2018 budget request reflects the strong commitment of the president to provide the services and benefits that our nation’s Veterans have earned, we are fully committed to continuing the transformation across the department ” said VA Secretary Dr.

David J. Shulkin.

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