But the solution isn’t to replace the VA secretary, it is to push through reforms that will make the benefit system more efficient.
It’s understandable why 26,000 veterans signed a petition to have Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki canned. They are enraged and frustrated that the nearly 500,000 veterans have waited more than four months for action on their disability claims.
The backlog of claims is outrageous.
Unfortunately, as well as sadly, the incredible wait for benefits is nothing new. The VA is a large government bureaucracy that does not adapt to changes well.
Shinseki is not totally to blame for the situation. In fact, Shinseki has been working on making the VA system more efficient. Changing government process and cultures takes time.
The backlog of cases has been diminishing in recent months. It now stands at 490,000, down from the 530,000 on June 15.
And keep in mind this is at a time when the number of veterans returning from war has been rapidly increasing.
So while we don’t see an immediate need to fire Shinseki, we do see an opportunity to keep political pressure on him and other VA officials.