The VFW, along with coauthors Disabled American Veterans and Paralyzed Veterans of America, released their 30th edition of the Independent Budget, which is a recommended budget guideline prepared by veterans for the Department of Veterans Affairs. The collaborative report was released Tuesday with the support of 27 other veteran, military, family and professional health organizations. Topping the list of six critical issues for the new 115th Congress to address is the need to strengthen, reform and sustain the VA health care system. Said VFW National Commander Brian Duffy, "Choice Act funding expires this year, so it is imperative that Congress and the administration incorporate what works into the VA’s standard operating procedures as we move forward. Through contracted care, the Choice Act enabled the VA to serve more veterans in more areas than ever before, but it also highlighted weaknesses, such as chronic employee shortages, especially in clerical staffing, which forces doctors and nurses to file paperwork instead of seeing more patients. The Choice Act also proved that contracted care can complement but never replace the continuity and continuum of care that the VA provides to America’s veterans.” Read other comments and download this year’s Independent Budget.