It’s clear that the VA – as it exists today – has lost sight of its mission of service to veterans and their families.
The VA suffers from 4 major, systemic problems:
Veteran’s routinely face long wait times for routine care.
Neglect & malfeasance are covered up by manipulating data.
Many of the executives and managers responsible for delays and deaths weren’t fired, they were given performance bonuses. Employees routinely stonewall investigations and blocks Congress from finding the truth.
Despite a 65% funding increase since 2009 (that’s $67 billion!) the VA has made no meaningful changes to combat it’s failing system.
While not everyone or thing at the VA is failing, they are unfortunately the minority. Overall, the VA is a calcified bureaucracy unable to meet the basic needs of veterans. What’s needed now is real reforms backed by a grassroots army of advocates ready to fight for them.
That’s why we started the VA Accountability Project.
The VA exists to serve individual veterans-in the most effective, efficient, and excellent manner possible.
Reforming the department will require forging a culture at VA that rewards excellence, maximizes efficiency, and delivers effective services, but there is no silver bullet.
Instead, step-by-step, leadership at all levels of VA-from the Secretary to local managers-must be given the tools and incentives necessary to cut through the bureaucracy and put the outcomes of veterans at the forefront.
The passage of the VA Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014, while important, is only the first step in a long and arduous process to reform the VA’s dysfunctional culture.
What the VA needs is three, critical, reforms:
CVA supports the VA Accountability Act, which would extend recent reforms that made it easier to fire senior staff apply to all VA employees.
It is nearly impossible to fire bad managers and bad employees at VA, making it extremely difficult to hold VA employees accountable for their performance.
CVA will push for more robust VA reporting requirements even as the VA scandal begins to fade from the headlines.
The VA has a long track record of stonewalling Congressional oversight committees and not providing timely and accurate data.
As a result, Congress, the media, and veterans groups get an incomplete picture of the department’s effectiveness.
CVA has proposed the Veterans Independence Act which will bring comprehensive reform to bring health care choice to all veterans.
If veterans receive poor VA care, or VA care is too far away, they should have the choice to seek VA-funded care elsewhere.
The VA still hasn’t fixed its broken culture – but it is now asking Congress for $17.6 billion more in funding without any real reform or accountability being implemented.
Sign the petition below to demand that the Obama Administration and Washington not dump more money in the broken VA system.