VA Announces Increased Funding In Appropriations Bill Will Accelerate Construction of Honolulu Veterans Care Facility
Schatz Worked to Include a Nearly $600 Million Increase for VA Program, the Largest in Program’s History
WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that funding for the construction of a new 120-bed state extended care facility in Honolulu has been accelerated due to increased funding that U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), top Democrat on the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee, worked to include in the fiscal year 2018 omnibus spending bill.
“The sizeable increase we were able to secure for the VA means our veterans will soon see a new top-notch care facility in Honolulu, one with state-of-the-art equipment that can help more people,” said Senator Schatz.
The new facility will be funded through the VA’s State Home Grant Program. Senator Schatz worked to include $685 million for the program, a nearly $600 million increase from the president’s proposed budget. The large boost in federal funding has given the VA the resources to complete numerous projects and fast-track the construction of the new Honolulu facility which is now estimated to be five years ahead of schedule. The more than $40 million in federal funding will pay for 65 percent of matching funds for the project as required by the VA program. The state will cover the remaining cost.
Hawai‘i is home to more than 100,000 veterans, with at least half of the population over the age of 60. According to the American Health Care Association, Hawai‘i has about half the number of nursing home beds per capita compared to the national average. The addition of this facility to the state’s health care system will assist Hawai‘i veterans and also help take the burden off of nursing homes and provide more capacity so that hospitals can reduce waiting lists, discharge patients to more appropriate care settings, and relieve some financial pressure on hospitals.