Editorial

VA corruption appalling

    Reformation relies on election results

In the last few years, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has been under scrutiny for several serious scandals. Stories of the VA’s incompetence and preventable failures have been strewn across headlines for the past few months, especially because future changes to the VA depend upon the results of the election.

     Last year, The Phoenix Veterans Affairs office canceled veterans’ appointments, and more than 200 veterans died while waiting for appointments, according to Washington Times.

     In September of this year, a whistleblower from the VA hospital in Illinois revealed that dead veterans were left to decompose in the VA morgue for weeks without burial, according to National Review.

While there were several other cases, the most recent case revealed that more than one-third of calls to a suicide hotline for troubled veterans were not being answered by front-line staffers because staff “spend very little time on the phone or engaged in assigned productive activity” and they “routinely request to leave early,” according to pbsnewshour.

     This lack of oversight is appalling. It is estimated that 20 veterans commit suicide a day; given that tragic statistic, how long is the government going to ignore this problem?

     The VA is an unpredictable, secretive and potentially dangerous set-up for veterans’ health care. Amid the terrible epidemic of veteran suicides, an agency designed to help them is actually ignoring them. We the Threefold believe that the suicide hotline obviously suffers from mismanagement. Thus, we believe that the VA needs to be held accountable to policies put in place to ensure that veterans are cared for, particularly its policy that prohibits staff from placing callers on hold without completing a suicide assessment.

     We the Threefold believe that the government should hold the VA responsible for its actions and the actions of its employees. We believe that loopholes in the system need to be identified, evaluated and eradicated.

     We also believe that whoever wins the presidential election should make VA reformation a priority, because the agency cannot fix the problem on its own.