Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Arguments for expanding the AO Equity Act - Part 3

This is the third and final post in our three-part series on expanding the Agent Orange Equity Act of 2001 [HR 3612/S.1629]. We have already presented these three arguments to the US House of Representatives and the US Senate. It is hoped they can see the efficacy of these arguments and adjust the bill accordingly. We will be sending these arguments to every member of Congress - both Houses.

Meanwhile, here is part three.

 Finding the money:

Take the money from the VA Budget [Rural Health Care Center/VA Hospital/VA Administrative Buildings acquisition and construction and staffing, which, if not built, staffing costs would be zero, acquisitions would cost zero, construction would cost zero].  The number of Veterans affected by a three year delay in acquisition, construction and staffing of these VA facilities would be miniscule compared to the number of Veterans receiving VA Health Care from the enactment of HR 3612/S.1629. 

Even so, those Veterans who would have been treated at the VA Rural Health Center or VA Hospital slated for construction will still receive full medical treatment, with emergency treatment paid for by the DVA no matter where the treatment is done, and non-emergency treatment done at the VA Regional Medical Center nearest the Veteran’s home, with transportation either provided or costs reimbursed. 

The Blue Water Navy Veterans, however, will not receive any treatment unless and until the bill is enacted. 

Additionally, the DVA is sitting on a large stock of real estate that is sitting idle, and has been for years.  Liquidation of some of these properties could also provide funding, from their sale, and from savings in maintenance, security and insurance. 

From American Legion online today:

“Appearing before a March 27 hearing of the House Committee on Veteran’s Affairs (HCVA), a panelist from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) said that ‘veterans are not affected" by ongoing delays at several of VA’s major construction projects’. The panelist was Glenn Haggestrom, executive director for VA’s Office of Acquisitions, Logistics and Construction.”

Clearly, even the VA says Veterans can still be treated as they have been for years, until a new center is built, whether that medical facility is built next year, or in 2016. 

So, we are asking that Congress fund the Agent Orange Equity Act of 2011 [HR 3612/S.1629] through postponement of the acquisition, construction, staffing and equipping of some VA Medical Centers and Rural Health Centers, and Administrative facilities for a three year period. 


”It is a stain on this nation's honor that the Department of Veterans Affairs has become a deadlier and more difficult adversary to the American veteran than any they have ever faced on a battlefield."-- VNVets

"The concept that Agent Orange, and its effects, stopped dead in its tracks at the shoreline is simply too illogical, and too ludicrous to accept. What does that say about the Obama Administration and his Department of Veterans Affairs?"--VNVets

"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations." --President Abraham Lincoln

"It follows then as certain as that night succeeds the day, that without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it, everything honorable and glorious."--President George Washington

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