It’s one thing to make a big mistake and then do everything possible to correct it. There are usually consequences to pay, but at least there is acknowledgment about the error and an effort to make it right.
It’s another thing to make a big mistake and then ignore it – despite all the bad publicity – hoping it will go away. This is unpardonable and results in negative consequences multiplying.
Sadly, such has been the case with the Obama Administration’s Veterans Administration fiasco. No, the problem did not start with his administration, but it certainly got worse under it, even after we all learned how bad it was.
More recently, in December 2016, it was learned that a patient at the Oklahoma V.A. died with maggots in his wound in October. Four employees resigned immediately after this tragedy came to light, but that doesn’t exactly bring back the veteran, does it?
Technically, 73-year-old Owen Reese Peterson died of sepsis, but the lack of attention to his condition brought the disaster known as V.A. patient care to the forefront once again. The very people who should be receiving the best of treatment after serving their country have – over and over again – received some of the worst care.
The corruption and incompetence of the Veterans Administration has been nothing short of despicable. Some American military service members have died on the streets waiting to get in a V.A. hospital, while others now molder in body bags in basements after managing to get into a hospital but then dying there.
Could the problem be budgetary restraints? Nope. The V.A. budget has steadily increased to historic levels and topped $196 billion in fiscal 2015.
Scandal after scandal – utter incompetence in management, outright corruption, theft, embezzlement, fraud – all to the detriment of those Americans to whom we owe the most. Three years after much of this came to light, nothing has been done about the problem.
The V.A. needs a lot more than a facelift. It will be very interesting to see how much attention the Trump Administration pays to this crucial issue.