The Veteran’s Administration has been besot with negligence for years, but their latest mistake seems almost impossible. An “error” declared 4,201 veterans dead.
[Scroll Down for Video]
The veterans were not, in fact dead, but because they were dead to the VA’s system, their benefits were cut off. It is unclear if this error actually resulted in the deaths of any of the living veterans through the denial of services, but that’s a detail that will surely surface soon.
Why has the VA become such an administrative disaster? We’ve heard the horror stories of American vets who died waiting in line for the glacial pace of VA healthcare. But declaring living vets dead? I guess it is one way to cut down on the time the rest have to wait in line.
Navy Veteran Mike Rieker from Florida spoke to Fox News about the debacle. “The system failed,” Rieker said “whatever they’re doing doesn’t work. It was supposed to be corrected and of course it wasn’t. Things move at the speed of darkness at the VA.”
“One of my biggest concerns is that there are a lot of people who don’t know who to contact [when benefits are cut off],” Rieker said. “You call the VA and they say, ‘We’ll investigate it,’ and who knows how long that takes.”
Rieker found assistance through a congressman. That route, though, may not be efficient, either. Clearly the VA will make things right for everyone who had their benefits terminated, especially now that they’re in the national media spotlight. Yet events such as this one undermine the trust our veterans place in services that are supposed to be guaranteed for those who serve this country.
So what are the options? Do we continue to prop up a system that needs a top-down overhaul? Do we simply throw more money at a system capable of randomly cutting off the benefits of thousands of living veterans?
What I’ve seen from my own experience is that everyone who can afford private services does everything they can to avoid the VA. And that might be the biggest shame of of all.