The problem with the backlog of veterans’ disability claims and appeals continues.
The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) issued a press release yesterday in which they reported, “The backlog grew by 1,979 to a total of 401,562. There are also 266,407 appeals pending (a new record), a number that increased by 228 claims over the past week.”
According to IAVA, the backlog had not increased since July.
I guess they should cancel the parade and the party.
The International Business Times (IBT) recently published a story where they reported that the Veterans Administration is broken. IBT’s headline kind of said it all: “VA is Broken: Death, Medical Mistreatment, Claims Backlogs And Neglect At Veterans Affairs Hospitals And Clinics.”
It appears the Department of Veterans Affairs is a bureaucracy at its worst. IBT reported:
Most VA observers contend that the problems in the department stem from a layer of lax middle managers who are not held responsible for outcomes in facilities or groups under their supervision. According to a Government Accountability Office report issued in July, VA routinely rewards incompetent managers with bonuses although they have allowed obviously poor conditions to fester and have shown little interest in fixing the problems veterans face.
More veterans serving in Congress could help the situation. The Washington Post recently reported:
Military service was once almost a prerequisite for service in Congress. Veterans comprised more than three-fourths of both the House and Senate at one point last century. Since then, their membership has declined to about 20 percent of both chambers.
I’ve written several times before that we need more veterans in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate. By the way, it does not count (in my rule book) when some sappy politician says, “I didn’t serve in the military, but my (insert dad, mom, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, cousin) did.
Electing more people who have “been there done that” and who can “talk the talk” and “walk the walk” might be the only way to help get the mess in the Department of Veterans Affairs under control.