It is time for new leadership and new blood at the Veterans Administration. At a minimum, Eric Shinseki and his deputies should have the decency to resign. It is time to replace those sentimental old fools that believe that they can run treacly old ads about honor and service and integrity and thus eliminate the piss-poor image many people have of the VA. It is time to make the VA into an agency that delivers on time, automatically, and with little fuss. Whatever the Social Security Administration is doing, the VA should be doing that.
Social Security drops a check into the bank accounts of Americans. The VA should be doing exactly that as well. Then we can talk about the VA health care system and all of the other things that it does. What cripples the VA is getting bent out of shape about the backlog of fraudulent claims that has people who have never served still getting VA benefits. It should be a felony, punishable up to 20 years in Federal Prison, for wrongfully claiming VA benefits. Let them collect their benefits and then throw them in prison when the investigators catch up to them.
If you have a Social Security Number, you should automatically be designated as a Veteran or non-Veteran, based on whether or not you actually served. The day you enter the military, this change should happen and it should follow you for the rest of your life.
We can sit and complain all day, every day about the VA but there's really only one solution--the act of entering the military should trigger a lifelong benefit that follows the Social Security number. Whether this is for disability, education, health care, or death benefits, that's what needs to happen. These two systems should be brought completely into sync with one another. And the VA can't do that, get rid of the VA and replace it with something that will work.