BACON ENSURES AMERICA KEEPS ITS PROMISES TO VETERANS
WASHINGTON, D.C.— In a strong show of support for our nation’s veterans, Congressman Don Bacon (NE-02) voted on September 13 in favor of the Department of Veterans Affairs appropriations bill. This historic bill includes $86.5 billion in discretionary funding, an increase of $5 billion above the 2018 fiscal year. It was passed by the House and Senate and is awaiting the President’s signature.
"Since I started in Congress and dating back to my years in the United States Air Force, taking care of our veterans has been one of my top priorities. Our servicemen and women, who dedicated their lives to the security of our nation, deserve the full range of benefits and care they were promised. This VA appropriations bill keeps us on the right track to fulfilling our promise to our veterans,” said Rep. Bacon. "Congress has made great strides to enact legislation that provides more options and greater care for our veterans. I look forward to continuing this effort.”
Included in this bill was funding for programs and services that provide critical help to our nation’s veterans. This bill included the following:
· Funds VA medical care at $72.3 billion – providing for 7 million patients to be treated in the 2019 fiscal year, including:
o $8.6 billion for mental health care services
o $206 million for suicide prevention outreach
o $400 million for opioid abuse prevention
o $270 million for rural veterans’ health initiatives
· A $1.75 billion increase over the advance funding already provided for ongoing care, including existing programs and MISSION Act programs like community care, caregivers, and other medical services (such as improved access to organ transplants)
· Ensures funding $1.1 billion to modernize the VA's electronic health record system to provide seamless care to veterans as they transition from military service
· Speeds up claim processing for more than 450 thousand veterans who are waiting for the compensation they deserve.