Obama proposes expansion of VA health care

Washington_President Barack Obama wants to expand health care access to veterans earning modest incomes.

The president's proposed budget for Veterans Affairs would provide health care to non-disabled veterans whose income exceeds about $30,000 annually. Obama has promised to provide VA health care to those blocked under the Bush administration.

By 2013, the administration says 500,000 veterans would be eligible.

Obama would provide extra funding for programs targeting homeless veterans and those in rural areas. And it would pay for upgrades to the VA's technology system to help eliminate the average six-month wait to have a disability claim processed.

Overall, it would increase the agency's discretionary spending by 10 percent to $53 billion.

Kimberly Hefling, AP Writer © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.