If you’re a faithful follower of Concerned Veterans for America, you’ve read a #VAFail or two this year.
But what is the worst of the worst?
From bullying good employees out of their jobs to actively hiding information from FOIA requests to fatal mishandling of care, it’s been a year of failure at the VA. And while there are laws in place to hold the VA accountable and give veterans access to community care, the VA has proven time and again it has one priority – itself.
Here’s a look at the top #VAFails we covered in 2023.
Army veteran Jessica Villarreal was bullied out of the VA for standing up for her veteran patients.
A veteran in Florida died after being brought to a VA emergency room and denied care because the staff couldn’t confirm he was a veteran, even though he had been a patient at that hospital.
Even after a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, the VA has still withheld information from the public about how they manage care. What are they hiding?
A veteran committed suicide in a VA facility after being left alone in an exam room for hours without staff checking in.
Whistleblowers shed light on bad behavior inside the VA, but reports show retaliation against them has risen.
Wisconsin veterans seeking answers about traumatic brain injuries were routinely misdiagnosed, and even accused of having bad motives for pursuing benefits.
A long-troubled electronic health record update has led to more than 100 cases of harm to veterans, including several deaths.
The VA secretary told Congress his agency wasn’t using a landmark accountability law much to fire employees. Meanwhile, employees with piles of evidence as to why they should be fired are still employed.
Air Force veteran Ed Moeglein has spent years begging the VA to better manage his care and chronic pain. He has been answered with cold indifference.
A Maryland veteran went to the VA with pain in his hand and a ring stuck around his finger. Several days later, his arm had to be amputated, thanks in part to the VA’s “substandard” care.
Don’t forget, it doesn’t have to be this way for veterans. The VA could be following the law and letting veterans access the care they need. But the department chooses instead to prioritize itself and skirt accountability every step of the way.
In 2024, we’ll continue the fight to ensure veterans get access to needed care and the VA is held accountable to those it serves.