President Obama Takes Stand Against Fatal VA Hospital Delays

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President Obama is finally taking a stance on disturbing delays in VA healthcare. For the past few months, it has become increasingly clear that VA hospitals across the U.S. delayed important appointments and screenings — and some missed screenings even lead to the untimely (and unnecessary!) deaths of cancer-ridden veterans. Moreover, there is speculation that some VA hospitals destroyed documents and records to hide delays in VA healthcare, post traumatic stress disorder help, and VA disability benefits.

What Does The President Have to Say About It?

“President Obama expressed outrage about allegations of misconduct at veterans hospitals and said that people in the Department of Veterans Affairs — including Eric Shinseki, its secretary — could be punished if investigations revealed wrongdoing,” The New York Times explains. Obama did not skirt around the issue, adding, plainly, “I will not stand for it.” Obama is asking Shinseki to produce detailed reports of VA hospital operations; the first report is due this week, The New York Times adds.

Although there are formalities to consider — and some waiting left — officials say that the Obama administration is doing what it can to address deadly delays in veterans’ healthcare. “He said officials had reduced waiting times for getting benefits, even as they have expanded the number of veterans who can get access to benefits for different conditions,” The New York Times writes.

Will Likely Improvements Be Enough?

Will addressing and improving these delays be enough? Veterans advocates, including veterans lawyers and veterans attorneys, agree; although improvements in physical healthcare are absolutely necessary, they will not solve all of vets’ problems. There are too few mental health problems to help survivors of abuse, experts continue. The programs in place, moreover, are too short. Researchers agree that it can take up to seven to 12 years for PTSD symptoms to surface. Most veterans are eligible for mental health programs for five years only.

Disturbing — and sometimes fatal — delays at VA hospitals are finally getting nation-wide attention. Experts add, however, that more needs to happen. VA disability benefits and mental health programs also need critical improvements to keep our vets healthy and safe. Read more like this:

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