In revelations that should scare anyone who wants more government involvement in health care, an investigation by Sacramento, California’s CBS affiliate (CBS13) found that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs “has accidentally killed off hundreds of veterans, cutting off benefits and health care service at veteran hospitals.”
According to CBS13, numerous clerical errors have “killed off” living veterans, which then triggered notification letters to their families.
Kate Owens, according to CBS13, discovered her VA account had been deleted when a letter addressed to her husband announced she had died. Now, Owens has to submit documents proving she is not dead in order to continue receiving her benefits by the end of the month.
CBS13 found other incidents where veterans have been accidentally deleted from the database. Army veteran Jerry Miller of Palm Bay, Florida told CBS13 the same mistake has happened to him four different times since 2010.
After the CBS13 report, Veterans Affairs changed its practices to require that veteran identification numbers be cross-referenced with the complete names of the veterans before their names are deleted from the federal database.
According to Veterans Affairs, about 642,000 veterans die each year, but given Veterans Affairs officials told CBS13 that they had known of these clerical errors for some time, one can only wonder how many of those 642,000 veterans listed as dead each year are still alive and fighting with the federal bureaucracy to receive their benefits.