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Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas

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CORECTION TO AP NEWSPAPER ARTICLE: More than 260,000 unable to sign up for health care (by SUZANNE GAMBOA, Associated Press Writer)

January 27, 2006

Dear Editor:


There has been some inaccurate reporting of medical benefits available through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and I wanted to help set the record straight.

In 2005, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs performed 55 million medical appointments in its delivery of world-class health care to some 5.4 million veterans.  VA health care was rated – by our own patients – to be better than health care in the private sector, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index.

A recent Associated Press report on veterans seeking VA health care referred to certain veterans who are not eligible to receive it.  These are higher income individuals who suffered no injury or illness related to their military service.  We want to be clear that absolutely nobody is being cut from VA health care rolls and no veteran will be dis-enrolled from VA health care unless they specifically request it.

Discussions of veterans benefits are important.  Misinformation can be a disservice to veterans and their families, so it’s critical to make sure the facts are accurately reported.



Lisette Mondello
Assistant Secretary, Public and Intergovernmental Affairs
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs