Veterans Affairs (VA) Hospital Scandal Amplifies Uncertainty for Military Families
Military families dealing with the stress of war, deployments and downsizing can add healthcare uncertainty to that list. The recent reports that an Arizona VA hospital ignored mandates to prioritize new or injured veterans is another blow… but unfortunately not an unexpected one.
“This is nothing new,” said Association Executive Director Joyce Raezer. “Military families see the VA as a huge, dysfunctional bureaucracy, and the VA has certainly lived up to its reputation here.”
The VA’s focus has always been on older veterans… those who served in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. There’s now growing concern that they’re not prepared to handle all of the service members who will soon be transitioning (not always by choice) out of the military.
Will the VA understand their needs? Will the bureaucracy be able to handle those needs? How does the VA support veterans’ families as part of a veteran’s care?
“We are looking for as smooth a transition as possible, and there’s a lot of work that needs to be done on the smooth transition,” said Raezer.
The VA was the only federal agency exempt from sequestration and budget cuts. In fact, their budget has grown. So why aren’t veterans getting the care they were promised and that they’ve earned? Why aren’t we using all of our nation’s resources to get veterans the care they need when they need it?
“It’s a much bigger issue than cooking the books,” said Raezer. “We’re talking about care for decades to come.”
Reports state that dozens of veterans died while awaiting medical care at VA hospitals in Phoenix. The staff is accused of keeping two sets of records to conceal prolonged waits for appointments.
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