Legion pleased with Obama's 2010 budget request

Commenting on a $113 billion VA budget request, American Legion National Commander David K. Rehbein said, “The budget’s dramatically increased funding level for the Department of Veterans Affairs will allow the secretary to take on many challenges he’s facing currently.“The budget provisions expanding health-care eligibility for veterans will allow more of them timely access to the world’s best health-care delivery system,” he said. “The American Legion believes no veteran should ever be denied access to quality health care.”Other challenges facing the veteran care community include combating homelessness, meeting the unique needs of women veterans, expanding care to veterans in rural areas, and enhancing outreach to and services for veterans suffering mental health issues. Addressing these issues, Rehbein said: “There needs to be a concentrated effort to make sure this nation does not fail any veteran. The successful transition from active-duty military service to the civilian workforce is a major concern for The American Legion, especially for a nation at war.”Last September, Rehbein addressed VA’s funding needs in fiscal 2010 before a joint session of the House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committees. Other areas addressed in that hearing included the timely enactment of the new Post 9-11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act, improvements in the claims adjudication process for disability claims and advance appropriations for VA medical care.