Veterans would have continuing access to health care outside of the VA system, under the Trump administration’s proposed $220.2 billion budget for the Department of Veterans Affairs for 2020. The total bill represents a 9.6 percent increase above VA’s fiscal year 2019 budget, which remains in effect until Sept. 30. Here are key provisions:
* $8.9 billion to support the 2018 MISSION Act. It would allow veterans to continue receiving health-care services at VA facilities, while expanding urgent-care benefits and the Caregivers program.
* $1.6 billion to modernize the electronic health-records system, with a focus on better sharing of data between the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments.
* $9.4 billion for enhanced mental-health services, with a focus on preventing veterans’ suicides.
* $547 million for services dedicated to women veterans’ health.
* $1.6 billion for major and minor construction, to include a new hospital in Louisville, Ky., and a medical center in Manhattan.
* $8.1 to improve customer service.