Update: On Wednesday, July 22, VA Secretary Bob McDonald appears before the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee on VA’s request to transfer funds for Veterans’ care. The hearing will air live at 10 a.m. EDT on C-SPAN3 or can be watched online via the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee website.
Today, VA urged Congress to act expeditiously and approve its pending request for fiscal year 2015 budget flexibility. The request, formally transmitted on June 23, seeks the transfer of funds from the Choice Program to continue VA’s efforts to increase Veterans’ access to care and life-saving pharmaceuticals.
“It is essential that Congress pass legislation to provide the requested budget flexibility by the end of July 2015,” Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson wrote. “This is necessary to replenish critical operations funding that VA had to reallocate from other medical services programs to sustain Care in the Community, after those funds were depleted … if these program funds are not restored, VA will face shutting down hospital operations during August 2015.
The letter and full text of the documents submitted to Congress today are available for download here:
Nationally, VA completed more than 56.2 million appointments between June 1, 2014, and May 31, 2015 — 2.6 million more appointments than were completed during the same time period in 2013-2014. VA also made more than 3 million authorizations for outside care.