The VA estimates that it will treat 6.5 million veterans in the coming fiscal year at its medical centers and outpatient clinics. Overall spending for VA health care will increase by about 2.5 percent, but certain services would grow at a much faster pace. For example, an increase of more than 13 percent is sought for mental health care, and an increase of 15 percent is sought for geriatric care.
The budget proposes to pare spending on major constructions projects, but includes money for the completion of a mental health center in Seattle and for the addition of three new national cemeteries: two in Florida and one in Omaha, Neb. The VA's spending on research would flatten under the president's budget.
The president is also repeating his call for establishing a Veterans Job Corps, which would dedicate $1 billion over five years putting veterans to work improving public lands and working in law enforcement and firefighting jobs, but the same proposal went nowhere last year.