Veterans Healthcare Legislation in Holding Pattern

For the last two weeks, House & Senate conferees have been working behind closed doors on a deal that improves healthcare access and benefits for Veterans.

During the same time frame AFSA has met privately with some of the conferees to relay Association positions with the pair of bills which panel members must meld into a single, agreed upon version for the president to sign into law. We found conferees are committed to reaching a bipartisan solution that makes it easier for Veterans to receive the care they deserve, but many are concerned with its cost. Preliminary estimates released last week by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office say the legislation would cost the VA $35 billion through 2016, and if left in place thereafter would amount to about $50 billion a year.

Lawmakers are working to find savings to offset the costs of the new Veterans measure, while simultaneously challenging the CBO figures, describing them as “unrealistic.” The debate over cost has slowed the legislation’s progress and could push its completion into the fall.

This bulletin was cross-posted from HQAFSA.org, the official website for the Air Force Sergeants Association Headquarters. It has been posted here for your convenience. Visit HQAFSA.org for more updates!

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