Right Hooks

307,000 Veterans Died Waiting on the VA

About three times as many as died while fighting World War I.

Dan Gilmore · Sep. 3, 2015
Claims are stored stacked atop filing cabinets at the VA Winston-Salem, North Carolina, regional office 2012. Photo courtesy VA IG

About three times as many veterans died while trying to enroll for care at the Department of Veterans Affairs than died while fighting World War I, a new report by the VA’s inspector general shows. While 116,516 Americans lost their lives in The Great War, when the inspector general looked at the pending enrollment system records in September 2014, it discovered that 35% of the applications, or 307,000 veterans, belonged to people who died. Part of the problem, it seems, is how the VA manages its information. “[D]ue to data limitations, we could not determine specifically how many pending [enrollment system] records represent veterans who applied for health care benefits,” the VA’s Deputy IG, Linda Halliday, wrote. “These conditions occurred because the enrollment program did not effectively define, collect, and manage enrollment data.” As program specialist at the VA Health Eligibility Center Scott Davis told CNN, the VA’s inability to process applications cost more than one combat veteran from the War on Terror his ability to receive VA care because it took more than five years for the VA to get the soldier enrolled. If this is how the government treats those that risked life and limb for it, we can’t wait for when ObamaCare reaches its zenith.

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