Brown: Bureaucratic incompetence
April 4, 2013
Sadly, bureaucracy is a time-honored tradition in the United States government, but perhaps no greater bureaucratic juggernaut exists today than the Veteran’s Administration (VA) run by the Obama Administration.
The abject failure of the VA under the leadership of the three-ring circus we know as the Obama Administration is a case in point that increasing funding does little to inject competence or efficiency.
Recent documents from an Internal Veterans Affairs Department reveal some veterans actually die before receiving the care they need and others are forced to wait up to eight months to see a doctor, well beyond the VA’s standard of 14 days.
A House Veterans Oversight and Investigations committee appointed to look into the problem found evidence the VA is falsifying numbers and closing out veterans’ appointment requests in response to the backlog. According to the Military Times, the committee chairman, Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO), cites reasons for the closeouts include: “the request was years old, too much time had elapsed, or the veteran had died.”
A March 14, 2013 witness testimony by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) Health Care Director, Debra Draper stated no one actually knows how long veterans are waiting for care because “the reported dates are unreliable” — a large number of VA appointment schedulers don’t know how to do their job, the whole system is obsolete, and dates are massaged to “show clinic wait times within VHA’s performance goals.”
I digress to note that similar complaints are also documented within Britain’s National Healthcare System where workers manipulate numbers to meet quotas to keep their jobs. If the VA can’t provide benefits to our nation’s veterans, how does the Obama administration plan to deliver healthcare for 30-plus million Americans?
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Liberals would have us believe that a bloated federal government has the ability to play a meaningful role in nurturing people’s lives, but if they can’t get this one right, they should just fuhgeddaboutit. Case closed. Done.
Additionally, internal VA documents secured by the Center for Investigative Reporting found wait times for first-time disability compensation claims and other benefit claims are much longer than the VA cares to admit, with claims taking anywhere from 316 to 642 days.
In the first year of President Obama’s presidency, 11,000 veterans were on a claim waiting list for more than a year. Five years later, despite promises for improvement, and massive dollars “invested,” the situation has deteriorated.
Those on a one-year waiting list for claims rose by more than 2000 percent, to 245,000 in 2012. Currently, the average wait time for 900,000 veterans who have been willing to sacrifice life and limb for our freedom is 273 days. With that kind of malfeasance taking place under my watch, I think I’d do a little less golfing if I were president.
If you think this has something to do with “the mess Obama inherited,” then think again. The Center for Investigative Reporting found, “the average wait time for veterans filing disability claims fell by more than a third under President George W. Bush, even as more than 320,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans filed disability claims.” It’s actually about priorities, wouldn’t you say?
Jon Stewart effectively nailed it using humor March 27 on The Daily Show when he said, “McDonalds handles ten times that many customers in an hour, and may I remind you, they are run by a clown.” Sadly, though, the ineptitude of this administration is no laughing matter.
Susan Stamper Brown is an opinion page columnist, motivational speaker and military advocate who writes about politics, the military, the economy and culture. Email Susan at firstname.lastname@example.org or her website at susanstamperbrown.com.