Improvements at the VA far too slow!

One concern that Mikey and I share should be a concern to every American -- it is the treatment of military veterans. Here's link to an article delineating the problems that are not being properly addressed by the current administration: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/14/us/obama-va-hospital-phoenix.html?emc=...

Often times, those who enter the American military do so at great personal sacrifice. The husband of a close friend of my daughter served overseas while his wife was here in Ohio with their two children. This is a common scenario. And he was one of the lucky ones. He came home. He came home in one piece. I have seen him and talked with him, and he seems to have no ill effects from his military service. And he has a job working as a police officer in a small town nearby.

Not every vet is so lucky. And the treatment, or lack thereof, by the VA is an ongoing scandal. This should not be a partisan issue. While running for office, Obama promised to clean up the Veterans Administration, but he has made little progress.

It's quite simple, really. In this gigantic bureaucracy there will always be those who take advantage of situations to look to better themselves at the expense of vets who sacrificed for us all. But, as this article indicates, we can do better. We must do better for our vets.

Heads should roll; and not just the heads of minor officials. It is incumbent upon Secretary McDonald to do the same things at the VA that he would have done at Proctor and Gamble when he was in charge there. If you really want to shake up an entrenched bureaucracy, fire the incompetents at the top!

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I've seen enough of these situations before to know, after the dust settles it will go back to business as usual

The well-being of our vets should be an issue in every congressional and presidential campaign. If it is not brought up, we should bring it up. We should not rest until there are clear improvements, whether the next POTUS and/or the next congress is Democratic or Republican.

I don't believe heads should roll the system should.

This country has a long history of bureaucracy failing veterans on their benefits. In fact, one anecdote suggests that the American usage of the term "breaking through the red tape" came from the Civil War veterans who bound together to create the Grand Army of the Republic (the precurser to the VFW, American Legion, and Sons of Confederate/Union Veterans) in order to get their benefits and pensions. The veterans records were in files bound by red tape and the bureaucracy was notorious for not have benefits or denying benefits without even opening the veteran's records.

The VA Dept is an abject failure almost wholly across the board, not just on the subject of medical benefits. Which is sad because the individuals who work at VA hospitals are some of the most selfless beings I have ever had the pleasure of interacting with. They are not given the means necessary to affect change at a lower level.

I am convinced that the VA Dept should be disbanded, a new system should be created that ONLY rates eligibility of benefits and from there contractor should fulfill the terms of benefits. Each public school should establish their own Veterans Rep Office for VA education benefits, VA medical should be outsourced regionally to a private insurer. This is already done in the VA system with the VA home and business loans so there is precedence.

Limiting the scope of the new dept means that the workload is significantly reduced and thus less of a chance for fraud, waste, and abuse and an easier system to affect change both in policy and entitlements.

MikeyA

"VA medical should be outsourced regionally to a private insurer"

There's great merit in doing that. The VA should partner in outsourcing itself; competent administrators would look at that as an opportunity to increase service while decreasing load on existing facilities.

I'm receiving VA care currently and for paying nothing for it directly, I can say that I've received good care at Ann Arbor and Toledo. Of course I have rational expectations about it all... I expected to be rationed care, and that's what happened. My malady is being treated and I feel that I have control of it now, whereas before, in paying some private practitioner, I was treated but not given some critical advice that would have allowed me to control my malady. I don't know why I didn't receive that advice; in retrospect, it was a necessary part of my treatment regime. The VA gets good marks from me on the advice basis alone.

Despite this, outsourcing should still be explored. It's best for everyone.

I have pointed out before, that my father had positive experiences with the Toledo VA practitioners as well. All vets deserve a high level of care. That's why we must do better.

It is interesting that your experience was better with the VA docs than with one in private practice. I keep stating that there is nothing automatically magic about the private sector, and nothing automatically awful about the public sector. People provide these medical services. People are imperfect, whether they are private practitioners or work for government.

Guys, all I know is I've followed politics a long time, everyone concerned blames the other guy, and NOTHING substantial ever gets done.

Regardless of the intent of those who provide the services which I think most on here agree is generally admirable intent what is lacking is when/how the services are provided. Anyone who's been in a eligibility issue with the VA notes what a long and frustrating problem it is. I've seen too many servicemembers on their way out with their records with incorrect information. I've explained to them that it's far easier to get it corrected while they are still in the service and that leaving that if their record is incorrect they do not have to accept their DD-214 until such time that it is corrected.

Accepting the DD-214 is the service and the servicemember acknowledging that both have fully fulfilled the terms of the contract. Correcting the issue through the VA is too long and arduous. And there are other cases where the service record is correct yet the VA still denies the benefits. Thus the service provided to our veterans is lacking.

It has been 8 years since the VA tried to automate the eligibility requirements. If that were a private company jobs would be lost from the top down.

MikeyA

And they should roll from the highest levels. There is a relatively new leader in place. And he has a long a distinguished career in the private sector. He should investigate and separate the wheat from the chaff -- ASAP!

You favor massive leadership change I favor massive reorganization of duties. Two solutions. I don't think either of us will see either come about in this administration.

MikeyA

I agree that we're unlikely to see either massive leadership changes, massive reorganization of duties, or some combination of the two.
Profoundly sad. Our vets deserve MUCH better!

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