Every time we don’t think it can get any worse, it does. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) put our veterans on waitlists month after month. Some veterans even died waiting for care. Administrators who oversaw this fiasco were given bonuses. Few employees at the VA were fired for their offenses.
Now, adding insult to injury, we’ve discovered that veterans who need help and call a crisis center aren’t even guaranteed to speak to a real person. In fact, some of these calls even went to voicemail. At a time when they are most in need of support, veterans are yet again being let down by the VA.
The House has passed multiple bills to reform the VA, including a slate of bills last week. But real change at the VA won’t happen until the bureaucracy gets its act together and puts its commitment to veterans above everything else. Instead, the VA has been dragging its feet.
Without a radical transformation of the VA, veterans cannot get the care they need in the time they need it. They will continue to wait. Their calls will go unanswered. This is unacceptable. We need a truly 21st century VA that can overcome the challenges of today. The Administration needs to recognize now that what it is doing isn’t at all enough and must change.