• Obama Not Satisfied With Progress At The Department Of Veterans Affairs

    During his speech at the 116th annual conference of Veterans of Foreign Wars Tuesday in Pittsburgh, President Barack Obama confirmed the Department of Veterans Affairs still needs a lot of improvement.

    “Our work is not done,” Obama said. “We still have a big challenge.”

    Obama’s remarks come roughly a year after reports of manipulated waitlists at the Phoenix VA facility in Arizona emerged and started the beginning of an intense bout of scrutiny from both Congress and veterans’ organizations. The scandal prompted the resignation of Eric Shinseki, secretary of the VA, at which point Obama brought in Robert McDonald, former CEO of Procter & Gamble, to take charge.

    Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) was the first organization to request an investigation into the waitlist scandal once it became known.

    A year later, the scrutiny shows no signs of letting up, mostly because additional pressure has revealed a host of new problems, not to mention anger from Congress, since wait times are up 50 percent from 2014. No one has been fired in connection with doctored wait times. (RELATED: Could It Get Any Worse? VA Wait Times Up 50 Percent From Last Year)

    “In some places, wait times are higher than they were last year,” Obama told veterans. “So I want you to know, I’m not satisfied.”

    Just last week, House Veterans Affairs Committee chairman Rep. Jeff Miller sent Obama a letter arguing that because mismanagement at the VA is so prevalent, he should execute his role as commander-in-chief and become personally involved in fixing the beleaguered agency. (RELATED: Miller To Obama: You Need To Get Personally Involved In Fixing The VA)

    Obama said to the crowd at VFW that the department is steadily working on expanding care. In 2015, the agency has handled 2.7 million more appointments than in 2014. Doctors have also authorized a million patients to seek care outside the VA.

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