Posted on Apr 27, 2015
SGT Infantryman (Airborne)
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I read this from "This Ain't Hell But It's Close. It is very cold, callous, and disturbing to me. Because we aren't dying fast enough, the VA secretary claims that is why the VA is lagging behind.

VA Secretary McDonald: Aging vets straining the system
Dennis Wagner, The Republic | azcentral.com 12:05 p.m. MST April 24, 2015
Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald
(Photo: David Wallace/The Republic)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
VA Secretary Robert McDonald says the VA crisis was created by demands of an aging vet population.
McDonald said proposals to cut the VA's budget increase will worsen care delays and stymie reform.
McDonald was speaking to the Association of Health Care Journalists at a meeting in SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald said Friday the nation's VA health care crisis was created primarily by demands of an aging population of Vietnam warriors, and it could resurface as those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan grow older.
Speaking to the Association of Health Care Journalists, McDonald suggested that congressional efforts to cut the VA's proposed budget increase will exacerbate delays in care and stymie reform efforts.

He said the VA system was overwhelmed by complex medical needs of an older veteran population, and that problem was compounded by expanded health care benefits and a shortage of doctors and nurses. The upshot: Long waits for appointments and organizational dysfunction that first got exposed last year in the Phoenix VA Health Care System.

Nationwide, the number of VA medical claims rose from 2.7 million in 2009 to a projected 5.9 million in 2017, McDonald said, even though the overall number of veterans is declining. He noted that the entire U.S. health care system faces that same dilemma.

"Our veteran population — particularly that population who fought during the Vietnam War — is aging," McDonald said. "And the aging of that population is what created the stress on the system. Sound familiar? The VA is the canary in the coal mine."

INVESTIGATION: VA in Crisis
At Arizona's VA medical facilities, which had experienced a surge of patients, results were devastating: "The week after I got this job, I went to Phoenix — the epicenter — and I discovered we were short 1,000 (medical) providers," said the secretary. "And we were short clinical space."

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McDonald touted a hiring program, increased referrals for private treatment under a Veterans Choice program, and other reforms that he said have dramatically improved service to veterans.

But he warned that congressional efforts to stave off a proposed increase in the VA budget — reducing it by $1.4 billion — could undermine progress. He said it would mean 70,000 fewer veterans receive care, and major construction projects would be stopped.

"I don't create the demand," McDonald said. "I don't pass the laws to decide what benefits to give veterans. All I do is execute the laws, so I'm caught in this conundrum ... One of them has to change. You either have to give the whole budget, or you have to cut the benefits"

McDonald also announced the creation of a new medical advisory group, headed by former VA Under Secretary Jonathan Perlin, to help deliver care to the nation's 9 million veterans.
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Capt Retired
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Excuses are always easier than solutions. 
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CPT Zachary Brooks
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Is Social Security in trouble because Baby Boomers aren't dying?

Is Healthcare in trouble because people are living longer?

SSDD.
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SGT Michael Touchet
SGT Michael Touchet
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CPT Zachary Brooks these programs are in trouble because they are being mismanaged.
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CPT Zachary Brooks
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SGT Michael Touchet
SGT Michael Touchet
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Absolutely Sir, that is a fact.
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SPC Jan Allbright, M.Sc., R.S.
SPC Jan Allbright, M.Sc., R.S.
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In essence ... yuppers
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MAJ Robert (Bob) Petrarca
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Our VA System is in trouble because:

1. Because its been mismanaged by pencil-dicked bureaucrats for far too long
2. Presidents through their foreign policy keep minting new veterans faster than the system can process them
3. Our benefits keep getting cut while the number of veteran needs rises
4. No congressmen have sons and daughters in the military so we are "someone else's kids" otherwise the VA would be paid attention to.
5. Wounds that would have killed vets in WWII are now treatable with modern medical advances, so there are more in need.
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CPT Zachary Brooks
CPT Zachary Brooks
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"Because its been mismanaged by pencil-dicked bureaucrats for far too long"

I love the new retired MAJ Petrarca.

"No congressmen have sons and daughters in the military so we are "someone else's kids" otherwise the VA would be paid attention to." - Look at Joe Biden. His son will get the best help money can buy, because he has so much clout, but will still change nothing in the VA.
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MAJ Robert (Bob) Petrarca
MAJ Robert (Bob) Petrarca
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But I'd be willing to bet he won't be getting it through the VA CPT Zachary Brooks that would be below him. Last time I checked, he needed lawyers not doctors.

"Pre law, pre med, what's the difference?"
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SPC Jan Allbright, M.Sc., R.S.
SPC Jan Allbright, M.Sc., R.S.
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" keep minting new veterans faster than the system can process them"

Truer word were never said.
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