The Department of Veterans’ Affairs, responsible for the care of those who’ve stepped into the line of fire for the sake of their country, has now come under a fire of its own. Recent investigations of the VA have revealed shocking allegations that VA hospitals nation-wide have been altering their books to more favorably portray the amount of time a veteran has had to wait for medical care. Let’s take a look at the recent issues with the VA and what the House of Representatives is doing to fix the problem.
Results of the Internal Audit of Veterans’ Affairs
Released on June 10, the number of veterans affected by this practice has reached a staggering number of over 120,000, according to CNN’s reporting of the Veterans’ Affairs internal audit. Of the 120,000 veterans, it is estimated that over 63,000 were never actually scheduled for the appointment they needed. The remaining portion has had to wait nearly three months to see someone, a practice uncommon in many other industries, but potentially fatal in the health industry.
With the release of the audit, an analysis that dissects the department for all to see, officials and citizens of the United States are just getting a taste of the corruption and erosion facing many VA facilities. The report, which surveyed over 3,700 staff members of various facilities, identified several issues with the scheduling of appointments for veterans, ranging from unfamiliarity amongst staff with best practices, to staff receiving instruction from immediate supervisors to alter appointment dates.
House of Representatives Passes a Bill to Aid Veterans
In response to these numbers found in the audit, and hot off the presses this week, is news that the House of Representatives has voted on and passed legislation to not only end the scheduling practices named above, but to begin the process of allowing veterans to see doctors near them, rather than having to wait for an open spot at a Veterans’ Affairs facility. The appointments would still be funded by the VA, but it would release pressure from the struggling organization to keep up with the demand of care requested by our military vets and speed up the process for veterans who are still without the care they need.
According to Fox News, the final vote for the bill to pass the House of Representatives totaled 426-0, with the unanimous decision reflecting a desire to not only fix the problem but to keep themselves from appearing as part of a group not in support of the changes, which would be “politically toxic.”
The Nation’s View of the VA Leadership
The reveal of these wait times and the corruption of the VA healthcare system has left the nation with doubts as to the integrity of its leadership and the overall analysis and audit of the department. With the resignation of the head of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Eric Shinseki, the VA is currently counting on the acting head of the Department, Sloan Gibson, to begin the trek to a healthier and more honest system.
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This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom