President Ensures that Veterans Medical Programs Get Timely Funding

By Jacqueline Klingebiel

Oct 22, 2009 3:38pm

ABC News’ Jordyn Phelps reports: President Obama formerly signed the Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act into law today.

The law will advance funding on veteran medical programs by a full fiscal year. Funding to the Department of Veterans Affairs has been late in getting approved by Congress in 20 of the last 23 years, which impacts the ability of veterans’ health care programs to efficiently function.  

The advance funding will ensure that the VA can depend on receiving funding for these programs on time and that they will not be affected by politicking on Capitol Hill.

President Obama called the new law a fundamental reform in how the United States approaches health care to veterans. 

“It's frustrating for our vets, who pay the price when budgets are delayed,” the President said in remarks in the East Room prior to signing the legislation into law.  “The new doctors, nurses and critical staff that aren't hired.  The new medical equipment that isn't purchased.  The construction of new facilities and clinics that isn't started.  The new programs for medical care that are delayed.”

President Obama praised the far-reaching bipartisan support for the legislation in Congress.

“This is a reminder of what's possible when we come together, Democrats and Republicans, to do right by our veterans,” President Obama said.

The President was joined for the signing by Members of Congress who played a key role in getting the legislation through Congress and handful of veterans.

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