Thursday, July 9, 2015

Health Care for our Veterans Has Turned Deadly

If you’ve heard about the recent investigation conducted by CNN than you are aware that serious problems in the VA (Department of Veterans Affairs) are costing some of our veterans their very lives; the same lives that they risked to protect us and preserve the American way of life.

According to CNN, over the past several years vets have died because long delays and inefficiency in the system has caused delays in obtaining even the simplest procedures. Many vets may have been saved if their cancer or other serious health threat had been discovered sooner. Several VA hospitals in Arizona, Georgia and South Carolina are considered to be some of the worst in the country.

One example of the gross inefficiency that veterans are forced to deal with on a daily basis is the waiting list that they are placed on for even the simplest of procedures. There are literally thousands of vets waiting for nothing more complicated than a colonoscopy. As if that is not bad enough, in the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care system at least 40 veterans have actually died while waiting for an appointment to see a doctor.

And it’s not just a matter of gross inefficiency; it’s become a matter of cover ups and lies. Evidence shows that a great effort has been made to hide the fact that these conditions even exist. Many of the men that died had their names placed on a secret waiting list, one that would not be seen by the U.S. government in an attempt to conceal this situation from officials. While the “official” report indicated that the vets have been receiving care in a timely manner, the truth is that many of them have been waiting for more than a year.

Currently Congress is investigating this situation and demanding some answers from the VA. The long wait times are now being monitored by the U.S. House Veterans Affairs Committee and Republican Senator McCain from Arizona is calling for hearings for possible neglect on the part of the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care system in his state.

It’s good to see that some action is finally being taken on behalf of our veterans but currently there are still over 400,000 of them waiting to be seen and an unbelievable 265,000 former members of the Armed Forces that have had their benefits denied completely. Considering all that our military does for us and the sacrifices that they make on our behalf, shouldn’t we do more to ensure that they receive the medical care that they deserve?

I understand that mistakes can happen but this situation obviously goes far beyond such a simple explanation and it is our home grown heroes that are paying the price. Let’s all hope that this situation can be resolved quickly for the sake of all of our beloved veterans. Better yet, let’s contact our own representatives in the Senate and let them know how we feel about this situation. Our troops have always supported us in times of need, now it’s our turn to support them.

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