Viranga Panangala Specialist in Veterans Policy
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides benefits to veterans who meet
certain eligibility criteria. Benefits to veterans range from disability
compensation and pensions to hospital and medical care. The VA provides
these benefits through three major operating units: the Veterans Health
Administration (VHA), the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), and the National
Cemetery Administration (NCA).
This report focuses on the VHA. The VHA is primarily a direct service provider
of primary care, specialized care, and related medical and social support
services to veterans through the nation’s largest integrated health care
system. Veterans generally must enroll in the VA health care system to
receive medical care. Eligibility for enrollment is based primarily on previous
military service, disability, and income. VA provides free inpatient and
outpatient medical care to veterans for service-connected conditions and
to low-income veterans for nonservice-connected conditions.
The President’s budget request was submitted to Congress on February 13, 2012.
The President’s budget is requesting $135.6 billion in budget authority
for the VA as a whole. This includes approximately $75 billion in
mandatory funding and $61 billion in discretionary funding. For FY2013,
the Administration requests $53.3 billion for VHA. This includes $41.5 billion
for the medical services account, $5.7 billion for the medical support and
compliance account, $5.4 billion for the medical facilities account, and
nearly $583 million for the medical and prosthetic research account. The
total request for VHA represents a 4.1% increase over the FY2012-enacted appropriations.
Furthermore, as required by the Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency
Act of 2009 (P.L. 111-81), the President’s budget is requesting $54.2 billion
in advance appropriations for the three medical care accounts (medical
services, medical support and compliance, and medical facilities) for
The Senate Appropriations Committee, Military Construction, Veterans Affairs
Subcommittee approved its version of a draft Military Construction and
Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations bill for FY2013
(MILCON-VA Appropriations bill) on May 15, 2012; the full Senate
Appropriations Committee reported the draft measure on May 22. The Senate Appropriations
Committee-reported MILCON-VA Appropriations bill (S. 3215; S.Rept. 112-168) provides
a total of $135.6 billion for VA and, within that amount, a total of $53.3
billion is for VHA for FY2013. The total amount for VHA is approximately
$2.1 billion above the FY2012- enacted amount and $10 million less than
the Administration’s request.
On May 31, 2012, the House passed its version of the MILCON-VA Appropriations
bill for FY2013. The MILCON-VA Appropriations bill for FY2013 (H.R. 5854;
H.Rept. 112-491) provides a total of $135.4 billion for the VA and, within
that amount, a total of $53.1 billion is for VHA for FY2013. The total
amount for VHA is approximately $2.0 billion above the FY2012- enacted
amount and 0.3% less than the Administration’s budget request for FY2013.
Furthermore, as required by the Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and
Transparency Act of 2009 (P.L. 111- 81), the House-passed and Senate
Appropriations Committee reported MILCON-VA Appropriations bills (H.R.
5854; S. 3215) provide $54.2 billion in advance appropriations for the three
medical care accounts (medical services, medical support and compliance, and
medical facilities) for FY2014.
Date of Report: June 18, 2012
Number of Pages: 29 Order Number: R42518 Price: $29.95
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