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Friday, September 29, 2006

VA Not Spending PTSD Funds Properly

From the Marine Corps Times:

House lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle are upset because the Department of Veterans Affairs has not spent the entire $300 million it vowed to devote to post-traumatic stress syndrome among combat troops. ... The Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, says in a report issued today that the VA spent less than half of a promised $100 million in 2005 on PTSD and $158 million of a promised $200 million in 2006.

True spending on PTSD programs might be even less, the report says, because money released to VA medical facilities has not necessarily been spent, and even if spent may have gone to other purposes. GAO officials expect to issue a full report later this year with more details on what happened to the money.

“The administration is far short of fulfilling its commitments,” said Rep. Michael Michaud of Maine, ranking Democrat on the house Veterans’ Affairs health subcommittee. “Clearly, our oversight of the VA’s implementation and delivery of mental health services will have to be more vigorous.”

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