Why the Veterans Administration death toll will keep on rising


McDonaldRobert McDonald, head of the Veterans Administration, claims he’s making “great progress” delivering health care to vets and turning around the agency’s mismanagement and corruption. Don’t believe him.

Right now, more than 35,000 combat vets who are automatically eligible for VA care are stuck on hold because the enrollment process is broken beyond belief.

It’s been going on for years. A new Inspector General’s report shows the VA system can’t even tell when an applicant has died, or when the VA has mistakenly erased an application before it can provide any help. These flaws have harmed hundreds of thousands of veterans.

The IG report concluded that the VA lacks the management “to ensure the consistent creation and maintenance of essential data.” Any company with that problem would go out of business — and its CEO would be looking for another job.

Why isn’t McDonald? His cluelessness was on display at a recent Senate hearing, where he boasted that he’s holding VA cheats and incompetents accountable.

First, he said, “We’ve terminated over 140,000” in the past year. What? That would be nearly half the VA workforce. An incredulous Sen. Johnny Isakson, head of the Senate Committee of Veterans Affairs, asked, “But isn’t it true that it’s almost impossible for you to fire somebody under current law?”

McDonald squirmed and said, “That actual number fired is 1,800.” A few minutes later, he stammered, “I mean 1,400.”


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