Our veterans deserve so much better than this. They served this country honorably and in good faith. This is way beyond a crying shame. Give them a voucher to see any doctor of their choice.

Free Beacon: The number of veterans waiting more than 30 days for care at Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities has climbed past half a million.

The most recent data on pending appointments released by the VA last week shows that nearly 506,000 veterans currently seeking care at agency medical centers have waited more than a month for appointments, an increase of more than 10,000 in just two weeks and 23,000 in one month.

The new numbers, which survey pending appointments as of May 15, cast light on the agency’s continuing struggle to reduce waits and offer timely care to the nation’s veterans.

The VA aimed to schedule veterans’ appointments in 14 days or less before it was revealed in 2014 that staffers were keeping secret lists to conceal long waits for care. Since then, the agency has relaxed its target to 30 days.

While a majority of veterans are being seen by VA doctors within 30 days of their “preferred date” for an appointment, average wait times for primary and specialty care appointments nationwide have spiked in recent weeks. The VA does not begin measuring waits when a veteran first calls to make an appointment—instead schedulers use the “preferred date,” either the date the veteran wants an appointment or the date a VA doctor decides the veteran should be seen. The VA’s data likely underestimates patient wait times because of this methodological choice. More