Our nation has the health of 740,000 veterans on hold. Some are waiting for five to 10 years to find out whether they can get care. Some are traveling to Chicago instead of 15 miles across the Mississippi River. Some are dying before their cases get attention.
At some point, you wonder whether someone intentionally designed a system to be as bad as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
“It is the world’s largest bureaucracy and any bureaucracy is hard to control, but we must get a handle on it,” U.S. Rep. Mike Bost said during a meeting with veterans near Scott Air Force Base.
Bost is pushing reforms to the appeals process when veterans are denied health coverage. He also talked about reforms in health facility food inspections and in getting permanent directors leading the facilities.
Larry Newell, of Belleville, hurt himself in October and waited three weeks for a VA doctor to see his injury and then another three weeks to get an MRI approved. No physical therapy has been rendered and no payments have been made. He’s expected to go to Chicago rather than St. Louis.
Bost said he’s taking on the venue fight, and it is good to see the attention to these issues from Congress.
Those who answered their nation’s call should not be put on hold for a decade when they have a need.