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(Washington, D.C.) - Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, issued the following statement after the Obama Administration announced plans to provide access to over 250,000 “Priority 8 Veterans”. Priority 8 veterans are veterans with no service-connected injuries and modest incomes that were banned from accessing Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) care in 2003.

“I’m pleased that the Obama Administration has taken this important step to responsibly reverse the Bush-era policy of locking certain veterans out of the VA. But this must be just the beginning and not the end of the road to opening the VA to every veteran who serves.  As we move to provide health care to every American, we must also fulfill our promise to care for all of our veterans. I look forward to continuing to work with the Obama Administration to ensure that VA has the resources to bring in new veterans and continue to provide high quality care.”

As a senior member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee and the Veterans Appropriations Committee, Senator Murray worked to appropriate the funding that is being used by the Obama Administration to open the VA to more Priority 8 veterans. Senator Murray also introduced legislation in the 110th Congress to bring Priority 8 veterans into the VA.