Report: VA Health Programs Not Touched By Sequestration


Veterans’ healthcare programs will not be subject to budget reductions that would result from sequestration, the Office of Management and Budget announced Monday.

The Department of Veterans Affairs’ administrative expenses would be the only area subject to budget reductions, according to OMB’s statements to the Government Accountability Office.

GAO asked for clarification on what VA programs would be affected by the automatic cuts triggered by sequestration.

The 2011 Budget Control Act exempted veterans’ benefits from spending reductions but did not specify what would happen to veterans’ medical care expenses.

While the VA’s reduction areas have been clarified, the Defense Department’s have not and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta recently lobbied Congress to de-trigger the sequestration cuts.

The Pentagon will be able to shield its military personnel programs from sequestration, according to the report.

However, that would mean the remaining programs would receive a larger share of the impending $57 billion budget reduction.

The Pentagon has not issued a plan of action to mitigate the 18 percent in cuts that would be administered to each account.

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