Tanner applauds boost to veterans health care
On behalf of Tennessee veterans, U.S. Rep. John Tanner praised the announcement of $3.7 billion in additional veterans funding provided by Congress and approved by the president.
The amount represents the largest single funding increase in the 77-year history of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
“The men and women serving our country deserve our support when they’re in the field and when they come home,” Tanner said. “We will continue our work to ensure that military veterans have access to quality health care and opportunities to help them and their families after the sacrifices they have made in support of the United States military.”
With the release of Thursday’s funds, the 110th Congress has provided an extra $6.7 billion over last year for the largest single funding increase in the 77-year history of the Department of Veterans Affairs:
• Strengthening quality health care for 5.8 million patients, including about 263,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, in the 5th year of the war in Iraq;
• Investing in much-needed maintenance for VA health care facilities and treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury for returning veterans;
• Reducing the backlog of veterans (400,000 claims) waiting for their earned benefits by adding 1,800 claims processors;
• Building on the first steps by this Congress at the beginning of 2007 — increasing veterans’ health care and benefits by $5.2 billion for improved care and shorter waiting lines for veterans waiting 177 days to receive their earned benefits.
This increase won widespread support and praise from America’s leading veterans’ organizations including the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Military Officers Association of America, Paralyzed Veterans of America, AmVets, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, National Association for Uniformed Services and Disabled American Veterans.
Tanner represents Tennessee’s 8th District in West and Middle Tennessee. A veteran of the U.S. Navy and the Tennessee National Guard, he currently serves on the House Ways and Means Committee, on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and as chairman of the U.S. delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.
Published in The Messenger 1.18.08