“Taxpayers get what they fucking pay for” — a VA employee sounds off. Ay fucking men.
Privatization … subcontractors… budget deficit hysteria … I’m so over Republican talking points ruling our discourse.
God, I’m so over this shit. Are we seriously pretending problems with the VA like wait lists and cover-ups are something new? Something novel under the Obama Administration? When we all know the VA has been plagued with issues as far back as anyone can remember? Jesus, we have World War II vets still trying to get benefits after they’re deceased.
A review of shredding bins at Department of Veterans Affairs benefits offices around the nation uncovered 489 documents improperly set aside for destruction, the VA confirmed on Thursday.
Gordon Erspamer, a California claims attorney who has worked on litigation against the VA, said the agency has long known it had a problem with improperly destroyed paperwork.
“This has been going on for many, many years,” he said. VA claims workers “are under such intense pressure to process claims quickly that they look for the easiest way to deny a claim. Instead of making a decision, it’s often better to just lose a medical report.”
Erspamer said VA workers have a financial incentive to process claims quickly because they essentially work on a quota system. That, he said, encourages some to “lose” paperwork.
“Tens of thousands of veterans simply die with their claims pending,” he said.
VA’s red tape squelches veterans’ long-overdue disability claims
There have been some improvements in the last three years. But when it comes to delays, cases that need to be redone and backlogs, things are the same or worse than they were in the 1990s, Knight Ridder found, when the agency vowed to clean up its act.
VA chief Anthony Principi is fighting two enemies–a huge backlog of claims and barriers to VA health care.
On one front, he encounters tens of thousands of veterans trying to get into a besieged VA health care system, where waits for service in some portions of the country stretch beyond one year.
On the other front, he finds a huge backlog of claims–more than 490,000 of them–from vets seeking compensation for ailments or injuries they believe are a consequence of military service.
In a February 6, 1991 broadcast highlighted Sunday on Melissa Harris-Perry, NBC News reported on Vietnam veterans suffering from illnesses they contracted due to exposure to Agent Orange, the chemical used widely during that conflict. The devastating effects of Agent Orange to the men, women, and children of Vietnam were already known, but even in the 1980s, the men who were exposed to it during their tour of service had to fight to get treatment and benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
As I’ve taken time out of my day to read up on this, it appears the issue is quite complex, and merely looking at some numbers and pointing fingers can’t do justice to it. For example, Republicans with an interest in portraying Obama as an incompetent buffoon who doesn’t support the troops because Kenya like to say the VA claims backlog swelled under Bamz (again, Kenya and Muslim and liberal, etc. etc.). This ignores the fact that the backlog grew in the first place because of things like the Nehmer decision, which attributed a whole bunch of medical conditions to Agent Orange exposure, causing tens of thousands of previously decided claims to be refiled.
America, typically, has asked the black guy to clean up the mess. Cue my shocked face.
Some good reporting from Mother Jones on this, however I take issue with the idea that this problem started under the Bush Administration. The problem has been going on waaaaay longer than that. However, it really pisses me off that, just like with the NSA spying scandal, shit liberals were screaming and hollering about 10 years ago is only now getting some attention from the media, like everyone just woke up to something the hippies have been talking about forever. What, you guys wanna talk about how soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan don’t have body armor, too? Jesus, people. Pay attention.