Vets committee wants $800 million more for VA

Under the proposal, VA would see a $5.7 billion increase in the 2010 budget over current spending.

An explanation of the increase says that the $600 million for health care funding is not really an increase in overall spending but a revision in the budget because the committee does not accept an Obama administration proposal that it will raise $3.4 billion in 2010 by billing private medical insurance for part of the cost of treating veterans in VA facilities. That would be a 36 percent increase over collections made this year.

The committee is asking for a budget increase out of concern that failure to raise the money would reduce health care funding for veterans.

Additional money for administrative costs would be used for claims processing, according to estimates released Friday.

The request for additional money goes to the House Budget Committee, which is preparing a federal revenue and spending plan known as a budget resolution. That nonbinding resolution serves as a guide by setting spending caps on federal agencies that are used when preparing detailed budgets.

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