Public Policy

4th of July and Medical Spending

Reducing Medicare and Medicaid spending is not only America’s number one health care goal, it should also be its top overall budget priority.  Finding ways to cut Medicare costs is vital.

Although the CBO projects that Medicare and Medicaid spending will top $850 billion in 2011, we should not forget about another federal health care system on this 4th of July: the VA.

The VA operates 152 hospitals, 133 nursing homes, 824 community-based outpatient clinics and other facilities to provide care to veterans.

According to this Healthcare Finance News article, the federal government is increasing funding for the VA in 2012 and 2013.

President Barack Obama requested $54.9 billion in funding for the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) for fiscal year 2012 and $56.7 billion for fiscal year 2013, according to a report released by the Government Accountability Office this week.

VA officials said the new budget estimate was increased overall by about $1.4 billion for fiscal year 2012 and $1.3 billion for fiscal year 2013 to support healthcare-related initiatives proposed by the Obama administration, such as expanding homeless veterans programs, opening new healthcare facilities, offering additional services for caregivers and providing benefits for veterans exposed to Agent Orange.

On this 4th of July, let’s ponder how the U.S. can best provide effective health care for our nation’s veterans at a reasonable cost.


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