February 15, 2016
Fascinating report on how much the candidates for President actually thought about our veterans on Charlotte Observer. All candidates say they would help veterans. Who actually has a plan?
They took a look at all the speeches and then at how much thought they actually gave to veterans struggling to get the care they have been promised for generations.
Bernie Sanders: ‘We have a moral obligation’
Vermont Sen. Sanders’ public platform on veterans’ issues focuses heavily on his record in the Senate. He offers only five brief bullets points as a plan, including fully funding and expanding the VA and offering improved dental and mental care.
Sanders has been vocal on veterans’ issues since the beginning of his campaign. He has touted his record as the former chairman of the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, which worked to provide billions in extra funding to boost health care for veterans. On the campaign trail, his wife, Jane, has often told the story of how Sanders decided to run for president when a disabled veteran thanked him for helping him secure benefits.
At the same time, Sanders has been criticized for defending the VA in the midst of the 2014 scandal and initially dismissing its systematic failures. When pressed on the issue in recent interviews, he admitted, “We should have done better.”
Yes, he should have done better as the Chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, but we saw repeated performances of duck, dodge and hide the same way we saw all of it from all the others before him.
The really ironic thing that has escaped most reporters is the simple fact they have had jurisdiction over the VA since the 40's.
Hillary Clinton is running but no one seemed to notice that when Bill Clinton claims in the backlog for President Bush. President Bush left Obama more. Now Obama will leave even more.
By March of 2007, the Boston Globe reported that the backlog of claims had gone from 69,000 in 2000 to 400,000 in 2007 taking 177 days to process an original claim and 657 days to process an appeal. The news got worse with a staggering 915,000 in 2009 with 803,000 with the Board of Appeals.
Here is what was going on in 2008
From September 2007 to May 2008, GAO looked at four VBA regional offices, in Atlanta; Baltimore; Milwaukee; and Portland, Ore.
VA officials said it takes at least two years to properly train disability claims employees, and they must complete 80 hours of training a year. New employees have three weeks of intense classroom training before they begin several months of on-the-job training at their home offices.
But “because the agency has no policy outlining consequences for individual staff who do not complete their 80 hours of training per year, individual staff are not held accountable for meeting their annual training requirement,” the GAO found. “And, at present, VBA central office lacks the ability to track training completed by individual staff members.” GAO faults training for VA claims processors Air Force Times By Kelly Kennedy
“Backlogs are at the point where veterans must wait an average of six months for a decision on benefits claims and some veterans are waiting as long as four years,” number of unprocessed veterans claims exceeds 915,000 — a 100,000 jump since the beginning of the year.” (Have VA Pay old claims automatically, Rick Maze, Marine Corps Times, June 30, 2009)
Hey but let's just pretend all this is new and no one had anything to do with anything that has gone wrong EVEN THOUGH IT IS PRESIDENT'S DAY AND THESE FOLKS ARE RUNNING AWAY FROM WHAT THEY ALREADY LET HAPPEN?