Janet's Conner

This Blog tell the Truth and will never not tell the Truth. Impeach Bush

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Bush Administration Shortchanging Veterans Mental Health Funding

Washington ,D.C.- The Bush Administration failed to fully fund its promised $300 milion to address gaps in access and quality of mental health services for veterans over the last two years, according to Government Accountability Office (GAO) findings delivered to a House committee today.

Preliminary findings of the GAO study, requested by Rep. Michael Michaud (D-ME) and Rep. Lane Evans (D-IL), show that the Department of Veterans Affairs(VA) actually budgeted only half (approximately $53 million) of the $100 million committed to mental health care initatives in fiscal year 2005. VA also claimed to allocated another $35 million in FY 2005 through a general fund, but GAO found VA did not notify networks that these funds were to be used for [ mental health ] plan initiatives and that medical center officials were unaware that any portion of their general allocation was to be specifically used for mental health strategic plan initatives. VA did not distribute the remaining $12 million of the promised $100 million because VA officails claimed there was not enough time to distribute the monies,GAO said.

Fot fiscal year 2006, GAO found that VA failed to distribute all of the promised $200 million for additional mental health care staff, allocating only $92 million for new initiatives and $66 million to continue efforts from FY 2005. GAO reported that it is unclear whether VA medical centers will actually spend all of the FY 2006 mental health care strategic plan funds.

GAO preliminary findings reveal that , contary to Administration's claims, there is no accountability for spending the resources required to fulfill VA's own mental health plan and address the mental health care needs of veterans. The Administration has critically shortchanged veterans by failing to spend needed funds to address gaps in access and quality of mental health care, instead offering false claims that VA is ready and able to provide these serives, said Ranking Member of Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Health. Clearly ,our oversight of the VA's implementation and delivery of mental health services will have to be more vigorous.

One in three veterans returning from Iraq and Afghistan who come to the VA has mental health care concerns.

copy of GAO report here
http://veterans.house.gov/democratic/press/109th/pdf/9-28-06gao.pdf

1 Comments:

  • At 2:08 PM, Blogger Ronnysgirl said…

    Sounds just like the Busch Admin.!!!
    It's time to get someone in that is ready to take care of our Country, not bring us down!

     

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