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Veterans Health Administration: Over 300,000 Not Served

A new report from the Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General found that as “of September 30, 2014, over 307,000 pending ES [Enrollment System] records were for individuals reported as deceased by the Social Security Administration.” That’s about one-third of those who are the VA’s waiting list.

Am I shocked?  Well, yes.  I’m surprised it’s that low.

It’s been well known for a while now that the VA has had trouble getting timely treatment to veterans. Unfortunately, the report is unable to shed light on a very important question:

However, due to the data weaknesses identified in…we cannot determine specifically how many pending ES records represent veterans who applied for health care benefits or when they may have applied. [Italics added.]

This occurred because VHA [Veterans Health Administration] lacked adequate procedures and management oversight to identify and implement necessary updates to the individual’s status and the method for identifying deaths was inadequate. Unless VHA adopts effective procedures to identify individual deaths and takes action to improve the data integrity of ES, it cannot accurately and reliably report on the status of pending applicants, enrollees, and other beneficiaries in the VA health care system. 

Thus, we don’t know how many of those 307,000 veterans died because they had trouble getting health care.  But it’s probably a safe guess that more than a few did.

Remember back when the VA had the best health care system in the country?  I’ll bet that intellectuals like Phillip Longman do. 

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