The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) may well shut hospitals next month because of a $2.5 billion gap in its current year’s budget. Blaming veterans’ increased demand for healthcare, the VA also admitted that it has a further funding gap for the year’s budget ending September 30. They say they have no option at the moment other than to begin furloughs (where staff are given temporary special leave because it’s cheaper than paying them), a freeze on hiring and “other” measures. One of these would be to take $3 billion from the Veterans Choice program, set up to enable veterans to receive federally-funded healthcare from their local doctors and physicians.
The VA are specifically citing the treatment of hepatitis C, the liver-wasting viral infection, as a primary reason for their current budgetary issues, saying that a single pill can cost up to $1,000. Lawmakers from both sides of Congress, however, remain highly critical of way the VA is being managed financially, particularly in identifying and addressing potential funding problems. Chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, Jeff Miller, has reiterated that “veterans must not be penalized for VA’s ongoing mismanagement” and has called on Obama to “step up and become engaged.”
It would appear that federal financial mismanagement, and not Obamacare, is to be the current President’s legacy upon leaving the White House. If you are becoming increasingly frustrated by this government’s inability to address the real issues of U.S. citizens, please Like & Share this post.