The story reports:
The Department of Veterans Affairs’ Office of Inspector General (OIG) on Wednesday confirmed that more than one-third of the people thought to be seeking eligibility for VA benefits are deceased, and said many of them have been dead for more than four years.
The OIG report confirms the worst fears of members of Congress, whosaid in July that they would investigate unsubstantiated claims that thousands of veterans died before they ever became eligible for VA benefits.
Scott Davis, a VA employee and whistleblower, has dismissed the findings of the OIG. He claims that the independent investigator has no way of knowing how many veterans died seeking care. That may be, but if the number is one veteran, that is one too many.
The article states:
“We can’t say what’s what because of flaws in the enrollment system, and the flaws exist basically because the people responsible for fixing it haven’t,” he (Scott Davis) said.
Davis said the main official responsible for the VA’s Health Eligibility Center, Stephanie Mardon, should be fired for keeping such poor records, which even the OIG said is hurting efforts to get care to veterans. “Overstated pending enrollment records create unnecessary difficulty and confusion in identifying and assisting veterans with the most urgent need for health care enrollment,” it said.
But Davis also said the OIG report gives the VA, and the Obama administration, the tools it needs to start fixing the problem.
In July of 2014, Robert A. McDonald became Secretary of Veterans Affairs. It seems to me that there needs to be a way of mapping whatever progress he is making in fixing the problems the Veterans Administration has had in recent years. If things have not changed by July 2016, it is time to consider either replacing Secretary McDonald or disbanding the Veterans Administration and allowing veterans to seek medical care outside of the Veterans Administration at the same cost.