There are plenty of problems with the Veterans Administration and its hospitals, but the problems and potential solutions aren't readily apparent.
The Veterans Administration has been under fire for inadequate care of veterans in its hospitals. The Phoenix VA hospital in particular has been plagued by complaints.
Veterans may have died due to delays in care. The facility admitted that several suicidal veterans had been allowed to leave the premises when they really needed help, and the practice was not reversed until February of last year. Three high-level administrators have been fired over the backlog in medical appointments, as well as for manipulating data to cover up delays in care. Former director Sharon Helman was fired and sentenced to probation for failing to disclose thousands of dollars in gifts she had received.
Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), a veteran himself, has been fairly vocal about fixing the problems in his home state.
The Problem is Bad
But how bad is the problem? I spoke with an insider off the record. The VA does well at routine healthcare, my source said. Across the country, the VA does well performing general health screens and treating common medical issues like high blood pressure and diabetes.