Tuesday, February 4, 2014

They Need New Leadership at the VA

It is well past the time to find competent, capable leadership for the Department of Veterans Affairs:
The Department of Veterans Affairs' promise to end by 2015 its massive, benefits backlog for disabled veterans has "stalled," according to an analysis released Monday by a leading veterans' organization.

After slicing its glut of pending claims from a peak of 600,000 cases in March 2013 to 400,000 in November, the VA has been unable to budge below that threshold this year, according to "The Red Tape Report," authored by the group Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.
Consequently, hundreds of thousands of veterans who were permanently disabled or made ill by their military service are waiting months for their compensation checks to arrive to help pay bills and, in some cases, to buy food. Some of those veterans are physically unable to hold jobs.

“In the State of the Union address, President (Barack) Obama re-affirmed the VA disability claims backlog as a national priority,” said Jacqueline Maffucci, IAVA's research director and author of the report. “... It is not just about bringing the backlog to zero, but keeping it there."
This is not a partisan issue, and it shouldn't come down to worrying whether or not retired General Eric Shinseki is a good or bad leader. It should come down to who can turn this around.

Veteran's benefits should work as transparently as Social Security benefits. No more bullshit "feel good" ads and no more acres of dead wood traipsing up and down the halls of VA. No more parties and retreats and all that nonsense. And whoever is doing IT for the VA should resign out of shame.

Find someone to run the place, clear out the useless people, and make it an example of what can happen when you make government work for people.

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