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Press Release
President Obama Announces the Creation of a Joint Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record
Taking Care of America's Greatest Strategic Asset and Improving the Health Care System for America's Veterans

April 9, 2009

Washington -- Today, the President, along with Secretary Gates and Secretary Shinseki, announced that the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs have taken the first step in creating a Joint Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record. Currently, there is no comprehensive system in place that allows for a streamlined transition of health care records between DOD and the VA. Both Departments will work together to define and build a system that will ultimately contain administrative and medical information from the day an individual enters military service throughout their military career, and after they leave the military.

Access to electronic records is essential to modern health care delivery and the paperless administration of benefits. It provides a framework to ensure that all health care providers have all the information they need to deliver high-quality health care while reducing medical errors. The creation of this Joint Virtual Lifetime Record by the two organizations would take the next leap to delivering seamless, high-quality care, and serve as a model for the nation.

The President understands that those who serve and have served our country in uniform are America's greatest strategic asset. The President's commitment to the sacred trust we have with those who serve is clear in both the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs budgets and in the strong leadership of Secretaries Gates and Shinseki.

The President believes that the quality of care that our veterans receive should never be hindered by budget delays. He has shared this concern with Secretary Shinseki, and they have worked together to support advanced funding of veterans medical care. What that means is a timely and predictable flow of funding from year to year, but more importantly, that means better care for our veterans. The President was pleased to see that the Senate-passed budget supported this concept in a bipartisan manner.

The Department of Defense Budget will:

The Department of Veterans Affairs Budget will:

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