NC Media Watch

A quest for reason and accuracy in letters to the editor, guest editorials and other issues of interest to the citizens of Western Nevada County.

Monday, May 30, 2005

VA cutback details

John Combest needs to look a bit deeper into "Our soldiers come home to cutbacks," May 30, 2005
Why Dr. McGinnis shared her thoughts with me, I'm not sure. I'd like to think it's because we've become friends. She told me something I didn't want to hear - the "powers that be" have been cutting staff. She looked weary when she said, "I'm going to a meeting and they are about to cut 70 more people."
Let’s see, according to a Google search, the “cuts” are a temporary hiring freeze, due to the lack of funds in the 2005 fiscal year budget. A budget set by Congress. The VA Hospitals will not be laying off people, they will just not be replacing people who leave until the 2006 budget is passed around October 1st, 2006. The VA Sierra Nevada Health Care Center currently has 750 staff members.

According to a VA Press Release, President Bush is seeking a record $70.8 billion in the fiscal year 2006 budget for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), with the overwhelming majority of these resources targeted for health care and disability compensation.

The FY '06 budget proposal calls for $33.4 billion in discretionary funding -- mostly for health care -- and $37.4 billion in mandatory funding, mostly for compensation, pension and other benefit programs. This represents an increase of 2.7 percent over this year's discretionary budget.

If you are concerned about VA benefits, call Congressman Wally Herger and Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, so our troops are not “coming home to cuts.”

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