Last Modified: Monday, March 25, 2013 10:33 PM
Funding for a permanent Veteran Affairs clinic in Lake Charles was included in the U.S. Senate’s $3.7 trillion budget, which passed early Saturday by a 50-49 vote.
An amendment by U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., for the construction of VA clinics in Lake Charles and Lafayette would support future funding of these clinics, making the clinics a priority for federal funding. The amendment would take out one of the budgetary roadblocks delaying the construction of the VA clinics.
“Because of a bureaucratic bottleneck at (the Congressional Budget Office), veterans across the country, including 20,000 in South Louisiana, have faced unacceptable delays in these health clinics,” Landrieu said in a news release. “After the sacrifices these brave men and women have made for our country, it is unconscionable to allow this to continue. Our veterans deserve quality, convenient health care. This amendment puts us on a path to fixing this problem, and I call on my colleagues, particularly the House and Senate leadership, to work together to achieve a resolution.”
A Landrieu staffer said Monday that the legislation is a step in the right direction because it raises awareness for a deficit-neutral reserve fund. The staffer said the budget amendment allows for the bill to be one of the first vehicles that goes out of committee and to the floor for veterans legislation.
The amendment’s passage does not accelerate the timeline for a permanent VA clinic in Lake Charles, but the bill would authorize the two Louisiana clinics for fiscal years 2013 and 2014.
Posted By: RICKY T. GUIDRY, RPH--CHAIRMAN, LA INDEPENDENT PHARMACIES ASSOC On: 3/26/2013
Title: VA HEALTHCARE
IT'S ABOUT TIME SOMEONE IN OUR CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION STEPS UP AND DOES SOMETHING ABOUT OUR VETERANS' HEALTHCARE. I HEAR SO MANY BAD STORIES ON WHAT IT TAKES FOR A VETERAN TO RECEIVE THEIR HEALTHCARE AND THEIR PRESCRIPTIONS. THE CURRENT SYSTEM IS WASTEFUL AND DISCOURAGING.