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04-16-03, 09:57 AM
Veterans Health Care Funding Guarantee Act, S. 50
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Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Senator Bill Nelson
716 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510

Dear Senator Nelson:

I am writing to ask for your support for legislation that would guarantee an adequate level of funding for the VA health care system. The Veterans Health Care Funding Guarantee Act, S. 50, would make VA health care funding mandatory, thereby ensuring an adequate level of funding and guaranteeing that all veterans would have access to timely, high-quality health care.

As the President's Budget demonstrates, VA simply does not have the proper amount of money to fund veterans' health care. As a result, VA must ration health care, resulting in lengthy delays. By its own admission, over 200,000 veterans are currently waiting for over 6 months for basic health care appointments. This is inexcusable. The ever-increasing demand for VA health care is far exceeding VA's ability to supply it. And as the veterans' population continues to grow older, the problem can only get worse.

Switching to a mandatory system would fund VA based on the demand for health care, not on Congress' ability to appropriate funding. Further, it removes VA from the intense competition for scarce discretionary funding; eliminating the year-to-year uncertainty that currently plagues the VA health care system.

America has an obligation to the men and women who bravely served in uniform on behalf of this nation. The Veterans Health Care Guarantee Act honors that obligation and ensures that all of this nation's defenders are taken care of in their time of need.

Please support this legislation and do everything in your power to ensure its success.