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Capitol Health Call
March 10, 2004

VA Battle

JAMA. 2004;291(10):1190. doi:10.1001/jama.291.10.1190-a

Veterans' groups are outraged over the Bush Administration's fiscal year 2005 budget proposal, which provides fewer health care dollars than last year's budget, after adjusting for inflation.

In particular, these groups object to a $250 "user fee" for some veterans using Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) services; a slashing of research funds; and an increase in prescription copayments.

Delatorro McNeal, executive director of the Paralyzed Veterans of America, said that the proposal will leave many sick and disabled veterans without care. "This is yet another attempt . . . to pay for the services of one group of veterans out of the pockets of other veterans," he said. In a statement, his group pointed out that if passed later this year, the 2005 VA budget would cut research funding to 1999 levels.

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