The problems within the VA health system go back decades, long before the current administration.
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If the ongoing scandal in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system provides evidence of anything — in addition to our ongoing failure to provide adequate care for our veterans — it’s that Washington’s response is sadly predictable.
The first instinct in Washington is to look for scapegoats, or at least a sacrificial lamb. Accordingly, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki has resigned. No doubt he should have, since he was apparently clueless about the ongoing problems in his department. But the keyword here is “ongoing.” The problems within the VA health system go back decades, long before the current administration.
In fact, as long ago as 2001, there were warnings that veterans were waiting more than two months to be seen, and the VA’s inspector general had warned about problems with the waiting lists as far back as 2005. For that matter, back in 1945, then-Secretary Frank Hines resigned after reports of shoddy care at VA-run hospitals.