Tester: Protecting VA health care ‘the right thing to do’

(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester today released the following statement after news that VA health care will be protected from potential federal budget cuts.  Under a bipartisan measure approved last year, the federal budget is scheduled to automatically shrink by $1.2 trillion over the next decade.  Today it was confirmed that veterans’ health care would not be part of the automatic cuts:

“With more and more veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan back home in Montana, we need to fiercely defend veterans’ benefits and their access to quality health care.  Today’s commitment recognizes the immense sacrifices our veterans made for this country and it is the right thing to do.  I will keep fighting to improve veterans’ services so that our former service members receive the quality health care they earned.”

Tester, Montana’s only member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, recently introduced a bill to clarify that VA health care is exempt from any upcoming reductions in the federal budget.

Tester also recently called the VA’s announcement that it will hire 1,600 mental health workers to improve veterans’ health care a ‘much-needed step forward.’