Thank goodness that after World War II the government did not open a bunch of Veterans’ colleges but instead provided the GI Bill to finance higher education for veterans.
Healthcare is another matter altogether.
In the summer of 2014 after learning of veterans dying while waiting to see a Veterans Affairs health system doctor, Congress doled out $16 billion to solve the problem. VA officials had been manipulating the waiting lists to make them look like vets were waiting less time to see a doctor than was actually happening.
A year later, The Associated Press reported that the number of veterans waiting more than 30 or 60 days for non-emergency care has largely stayed flat, while the number of medical appointments that take longer than 90 days to complete had nearly doubled.
In March the Government Accountability Office reported that it studied 180 veterans newly enrolled in the VA health system. Sixty of that 180 had not yet seen a health provider and “nearly half were unable to access primary care because VA medical center staff did not schedule appointments for these veterans in accordance with VHA policy. The 120 newly enrolled veterans in GAO’s review who were seen by providers waited from 22 days to 71 days from their requests that VA contact them to schedule appointments to when they were seen, according to GAO’s analysis.”
The analysis found that the system lacks a comprehensive scheduling policy and data weaknesses. In addition there were ongoing scheduling errors.
Nothing seems to change. A VA report in September found nearly 900,000 listed as “pending” for health care, but Social Security records listed 300,000 of those as deceased.
“This will not and cannot be the end of our effort,” Obama said when he ceremoniously signed the bill providing the $16 billion in additional VA funding. “And even as we focus on the urgent reforms we need at the VA right now, particularly around wait lists and the health care system, we can’t lose sight of our long-term goals for our service members and our veterans.”
As Investor’s Business Daily noted in an editorial: “In the meantime, however, the ongoing scandal at the VA should serve as a warning to anyone who thinks socialized medicine is a good idea.”
The bureaucracy is impenetrable.