Apr 25, 2023
Dear Congressional Colleague, On behalf of the organizations listed below and the millions of veterans, caregivers, and survivors we represent, many of whom rely on Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care and benefits, we write to express our grave concerns with The Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023 and urge Congress not to pass this legislation unless it includes protections for VA funding.
Over the past few years, VA has seen significant advancements in veteran healthcare and benefits. If enacted, the proposed legislation would dramatically reduce total federal discretionary spending and could endanger funding for VA and veterans’ programs. Without specific language to explicitly protect VA from the impact of the proposed budget reductions, it would leave many veteran resources open to cuts, potentially undoing years of progress VA has made for those that have earned it. If the proposed budget reductions were applied across-the-board, the impacts would significantly affect the delivery of care and benefits to veterans. According to VA, cuts of this magnitude, would mean 30 million fewer veteran outpatient visits and 81,000 jobs lost across the Veterans Health Administration, leaving veterans unable to get appointments for care, including wellness visits, cancer screenings, mental health services, and substance use disorder treatment. Additionally, the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) would eliminate more than 6,000 staff, increasing the disability claims backlog by an estimated 134,000 claims and forcing Veterans and their surviving loved ones to wait longer for the benefits they have earned, including pensions, life insurance, GI Bill educational support, and employment services. Our nation’s veterans, caregivers, and survivors have already sacrificed too much. Our country must keep our promises and provide them with the best healthcare and benefits possible. The Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023 does not spell out the necessary protections and puts these benefits at risk. We strongly urge Congress to not pass The Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023 and request that protections to VA funding be added to “To fulfill President Lincoln's promise to care for those who have served in our nation's military and for their families, caregivers, and survivors.” 1 Sincerely, Air Force Sergeants Association (AFSA) AMSUS Blinded Veterans Association (BVA) Chief Warrant and Warrant Officers Association of the US Coast Guard DAV (Disabled American Veterans) Easterseals, Inc. 1https://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=5867#:~:text=The%20new%20mission%20statem ent%20is,%2C%20caregivers%2C%20and%20survivors.%E2%80%9D Easterseals DC MD VA Hope For The Warriors The Gold Standard Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) Jewish War Veterans of the USA Minority Veterans of America National Military Family Association (NMFA) Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society The Pink Berets Psycharmor Sea Service Family, Foundation Service Women's Action Network (SWAN) Secure Families Initiative Union Veterans Council, AFL-CIO UNITED THROUGH READING U.S. Military Spouse Chamber of Commerce VoteVets
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The views expressed in the articles in this publication are solely those of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the organizations for which they work, CWOAUSCG, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, or the U.S. government.