IU Cut Reversal Leaves VA Looking for Ways to Fund Choice Expansion

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VA Secretary Dr. David Shulkin's reversal on cutting a major benefit for elderly and disabled vets left the VA with a $3.2 billion budget hole to fill to meet President Donald Trump's demand for an expanded Choice program.

Despite Shulkin's change of course Wednesday, veterans service organizations urged their members to keep pressure on members of Congress to block any attempt to revive the plan in the $186.5 billion proposed budget for the Department of Veterans Affairs, which would have eliminated the Individual Unemployability (IU) benefit once veterans reached Social Security age.

"It shouldn't have been proposed to begin with," Veterans of Foreign Wars National Commander Brian Duffy said of the initial plan to cut the benefit. "Balancing budgets on the backs of veterans is something the VFW will never tolerate. "IU Cut Reversal Leaves VA Looking for Ways to Fund Choice Expansion

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Print Edition/May June

VA Chief Withdraws Staab Appeal; Vows to Replace ‘IU’ Pay Cut Too
VA Secretary David Shulkin made two surprise announcements Wednesday before the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee that should relieve some financial stress for more than 600,000 veterans.

The Department of Veterans Affairs is agreeable to extending Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to more servicemembers and their families, providing Congress can find the additional funding, a VA official testified Thursday.

Congressional Democrats on Thursday sharply criticized President Donald Trump's proposed budget for the Department of Veterans Affairs, saying it would harm veterans by rapidly expanding private care while neglecting core VA hospitals and programs.

en. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., said Thursday that new Veterans Affairs Secretary Dr. David Shulkin told her he personally supports her legislation to make it easier for World War II veterans to prove they were exposed to mustard gas experiments during the war.

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 House lawmakers on Thursday quietly passed a fix regarding veterans status under the proposed new health care bill that Republican supporters hope will silence one part of the opposition to the measure.

 A San Antonio man is facing federal prison time after a jury found him guilty Wednesday afternoon of scheming to defraud the Department of Veterans Affairs Disability Compensation Program.


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