Between the cuts to veteran health care via Tricare, education funding and mass firing of military personnel while handing out billions of dollars to his backers, President Obama has inflicted catastrophic damage on countless military families.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has failed to provide key information to Congress and the public that shows the agency’s ability to quickly provide service-related benefits has virtually collapsed under President Barack Obama.
The ranks of veterans waiting more than a year for their benefits grew from 11,000 in 2009, the first year of Obama’s presidency, to 245,000 in December — an increase of more than 2,000 percent.
Since 2009, the number of Southern California veterans waiting more than a year for their benefits has increased from 262 to 21,567.
More than 3,000 Southern California veterans have been waiting more than two years for their benefits.
The agency tracks and widely reports the average wait time: 273 days. But the internal data indicates that veterans filing their first claim, including those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, wait nearly two months longer, between 316 and 327 days. Those filing for the first time in America’s major population centers might wait up to twice as long — 642 days in New York, 619 days in Los Angeles and 289 days in San Diego.
As a candidate, Obama had promised to revamp a “broken VA bureaucracy,” but the documents reveal that many of the administration’s attempts — including efforts to boost staffing and computerize claims processing — have fallen apart in the implementation.
Despite agency promises to eliminate the claims backlog by 2015, the internal documents show the VA expects the number of veterans waiting — currently about 900,000 — to continue to increase throughout 2013 and top a million by the end of this month.
The agency has spent four years and $537 million on a new computer system, 97 percent of all veterans’ claims remain on paper. Since those numbers were tallied by the agency in January, the VA’s two top technology officers have announced their resignations, saying they had accomplished their goals.
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