Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HR0280
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Full Text of HR0280  93rd General Assembly

HR0280 93rd General Assembly


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 1                          HOUSE RESOLUTION

 2        WHEREAS, Funding for Department of Veterans Affairs  (VA)
 3    health  care  under  the  federal  budget  is a discretionary
 4    program, meaning that it is within the discretion of Congress
 5    to determine how much money it will allocate  each  year  for
 6    veterans' health care; and

 7        WHEREAS,  Title  38, United States Code, section 1710(a),
 8    provides that  the  Secretary  of  Veterans  Affairs  "shall"
 9    furnish  hospital  care and medical services, but only to the
10    extent that Congress has provided money to cover the costs of
11    care; and

12        WHEREAS, Veterans have earned the  right  to  VA  medical
13    care  through  their  extraordinary sacrifices and service to
14    this nation; and

15        WHEREAS, The cumulative effects  of  insufficient  health
16    care  funding  have  now  resulted in the rationing of health
17    care; and

18        WHEREAS, The VA has  reached  capacity  at  many  of  its
19    health care facilities and is unable to provide timely access
20    to quality health care; and

21        WHEREAS,  The  annual  shortfall  in  the VA medical care
22    budget translates directly into higher national  health  care
23    expenditures; and

24        WHEREAS,  When  veterans  cannot  get  needed health care
25    services from the VA, they go elsewhere and the cost of  care
26    is  shifted  to  state welfare and Medicaid programs or other
27    safety net hospitals where society pays more and the  patient
28    suffers; and

29        WHEREAS,  The  Veterans Health Administration is the most
30    efficient and cost effective  health  care  system  providing
                            -2-      LRB093 11770 HSS 15729 r
 1    care  for  25  percent  to  30  percent  less than comparable
 2    Medicare rates; and

 3        WHEREAS, Even  though  the  VA  serves  a  population  of
 4    veterans  that  is older, sicker, and has a higher prevalence
 5    of mental and behavioral problems, it does so at  well  below
 6    Medicare rates; and

 7        WHEREAS,  Many  veterans need and depend on the VA health
 8    care system and its specialized services in prosthetics, post
 9    traumatic stress disorder,  spinal  cord  injury,  and  blind
10    rehabilitation  to treat their service-connected disabilities
11    and meet their unique health care needs; and

12        WHEREAS, It is disingenuous for our government to promise
13    health care to veterans but then make it unattainable because
14    of inadequate funding; and

15        WHEREAS, Making veterans'  health  care  mandatory  would
16    ensure  the government meet its obligation to provide timely,
17    quality health care to all veterans eligible for care in  the
18    VA health care system; therefore, be it

21    we  hereby  urge the United States Congress to amend Title 38
22    of the United States Code to provide a  guaranteed  level  of
23    funding  for veterans health care with mandatory funding; and
24    be it further

25        RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be presented  to
26    the  President  of the United States, the Senate Majority and
27    Minority Leaders of the U.S. Congress, the  Speaker  and  the
28    Minority  Leader  of the House, the Committee Chairman of the
29    Senate  Veterans'  Affairs  Committee,  the  House  Veterans'
30    Affairs Committee Chairman, and each member of  the  Illinois
31    Congressional delegation.