Table of Contents
Description of Department of Veterans' Affairs
Problems experienced by local branches
National problems experienced
Analysis and evaluation of budgetary principles
Solutions to current budgeting crisis
Chapter 1: Introduction
Currently, there are 1,385,116 officers and enlisted men and women in the four branches of the armed forces, all of whom will be eligible to claim benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs. The first veterans' benefits offered by the United States were in the form of disability pensions for veterans of the Revolutionary War in the 18th Century. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is responsible for offering a wide range of services and benefits to eligible veterans, their dependents, and their survivors.
(Wright p. 161) The primary limitations imposed upon the VA are the direct result of budget limitations. As healthcare costs steadily increase, so does enrollment in VA medical healthcare systems. Alas, budget forecasts for the next ten years show a net decrease in the funding available to the VA. Difficult decisions lay on the horizon as the agency attempts to tighten its belt for the upcoming years of difficulty.
In order to fully understand the scope and magnitude of the budgeting difficulties facing the VA, several key issues will be presented and analyzed. An examination of the VA and the services it offers will be followed by the highlights of a telephonic interview with the VA's director of Public Affairs for the Eastern Area Office. This interview will highlight current budgeting concerns and their net impacts on services provided by local...