Hurry Up and Wait
All veterans are familiar with hurry up and wait! It seems it doesn’t stop when you get out! Go figure right? After reading the article about the problems engendered with the Choice program I listened to an interview with Dr. Shulkin, the Undersecretary for Health, this morning on NPR. He admitted that there are problems in the choice program and that they need to address these ongoing problems. Congress is currently working on legislation to help the VA address and fix the Choice program.
I feel that no matter what, hurry up and wait, will never go away at the VA. Not completely. However that does not mean that we should just give up trying to fix these problems. Remember the VA is a huge bureaucracy with, often, arbitrary limits placed on it by Congress. So many of these problem originate with Congress and the politicians, not with the VA.
I am not trying to excuse the VA because there are so many issues with the VA across the board, not just wait times for appointments, but claims being lost or delayed, or just plain erroneously denied. They are trying to fix these problems, but because of the size of the organization, for every problem solved, another pops up. This means we need more transparency, more pressure on congress and more reporting on the VA.
As part of this, NPR is doing a whole series of stories on veterans, all over the country. You can read or listen to all of these stories at Back at Base. They are worth listening to because they will help raise our awareness of veterans issues because all of these solutions might effect us in one way or another. This is important, because we all need to stay on top of the VA!