31 May 2014

Righting the Wrong: The Veteran Affairs Healthcare Scandal | RallyPoint.com

Image Copyright: Andy Marlette/Pensacola News Journal
By Anonymous Writer

Our faith was shaken when we found out the Department Veteran Affairs healthcare system left several thousand veterans waiting without care.  The Veteran’s Affairs Inspector General uncovered sweeping malpractice in a “blistering interim report,” released on Wednesday.  The report detailed how “internal audits of 216 health-care centers have largely confirmed the Inspector General’s findings of ‘systemic efforts’ by VA employees to cover up long waits for medical care.”  Furthermore, the report detailed 1,700 veterans waiting for primary care and unable to get on the electronic waitlist, some having to wait an average of 115 days.  How can an office directly responsible for the care of our nation’s heroes make such a devastating oversight?

Ret. Gen. Eric Shinseki may not have been personally responsible, but the scandal is so incendiary that blame went all the way to the top of the chain of command.  This scandal is rare in that it has drawn severe condemnation from both sides of the political aisle, even causing the White House to distance itself from the Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs.  President Obama believed Shinseki did an admirable job as secretary, but he accepted Shinseki’s resignation to stop the distracting mounting calls for the secretary’s resignation.  President Obama condemned the lack of integrity among senior members of the VA health care system, calling their actions “indefensible” and announced a process to remove top officials at facilities perpetuating the scandal.  

This is certainly a stain on the government as the United States begins a dramatic reduction in troop presence abroad, with more than one million troops returning home in the next five years.  Many of these warriors rely on the VA to provide essential services upon their return to civilian life so this breach in protocol is a  particularly devastating breach of trust and integrity, concerning veterans, families, and the American people.  

Sen. Mitch McConnell encapsulates the sentiments of many Americans when he says, “Our veterans sacrificed to protect us.  And they deserve so much more than what they’ve been getting from Washington.  They deserve the care they earned.  They deserve justice.”

Is Shinseki simply a scapegoat for the scandal?  Is this scandal another example of growing corruption within our government? Most importantly, how can officials re-instill faith that our government will take care of our nation’s veterans?

Weigh in on the discussion here and connect within the military network.

*These opinions belong to the Anonymous Writer and in no way reflect the views of RallyPoint.

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