MALONE — An American Legion official is seeking support to make veterans' health-care benefits a mandatory part of the federal budget rather than a discretionary one.Greg Paye, chairman of the Legislative Committee for American Legion Post 219 in Malone, asked Town Council members to send a resolution to President George W. Bush and other elected federal representatives urging that health benefits be guaranteed for veterans.He said that when the federal budget passed last year, the Veterans Affairs Office had to wait four months to get its money."We're sending our young men and women to war, where they are losing an arm or leg; it's inconceivable to have to wait for treatment for four months," Paye said.He said the problem would be eliminated if money for Veterans Affairs benefits were permanently in place."It's hard for the VA to budget (for health-care coverage) in an ever-changing battlefield. Knowing the number and degree of injuries is hard to predict."Paye supplied a copy of a similar resolution passed by the Monroe County Town of Brighton in January.Town Council member Louise Taylor made the motion to send a Malone version of the same resolution, and Irving Caplan seconded it; the measure passed unanimously.
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