White House Report Admits 'Corrosive Culture' at Veterans Affairs

White House Report Admits 'Corrosive Culture' at Veterans Affairs

The Department of Veterans Affairs has been taking heavy criticism from all corners of the country, and now even the White House is piling on, calling for an overhaul of the agency. In a new White House report, the VA is accused of having a “corrosive culture” that led to neglect for our most vulnerable veterans.

The White House report, written by Rob Nabors, President Obama’s deputy chief of staff, “paints a bleak picture of operations within the department,” according to The Hill. 

The VA must take “significant” action to fix its “systematic problems,” the report says.

“It is clear that there are significant and chronic systemic failures that must be addressed by the leadership at the VA,” Nabors continues.

The report also lambastes the 14-day scheduling scheme intended to keep veterans from waiting more than two weeks to see a doctor. In addition to “unrealistic,” Nabors’ report says the system is “arbitrary, ill-defined, and misunderstood.” He also asserts that the rule is a “poor indicator of either patient satisfaction or quality of care.”

Recently, it was found that some 10 percent of veterans wait 30 days or more to see a doctor, which is double the time the Obama administration previously reported.

The leadership of the Veterans Affairs Department also comes under criticism.

Nabors states that the top brass suffers from a lack of “transparency or accountability.” He calls leadership insular, exhibiting an “inability to effectively manage or communicate to employees or veterans.”

The President’s staffer goes on to say that the computer system used by the VA is “cumbersome and outdated.”

Some heads at the VA have already been chopped with the resignation of VA chief Eric Shinseki. But, as the paper notes, a few others have also been let go.

“On Wednesday,” The Hill reports, “the department announced the resignations of Will A. Gunn, the current general counsel, and Dr. Robert Jesse, the acting under secretary for health.”

The VA has also taken criticism from Republicans. A report released by Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) reveals that one thousand veterans have died while waiting for health care, even as the VA wastes billions each year.

Additionally, it was reported only a week ago that at the same time that veterans were dying before they were able to get health care at the VA hospital in Phoenix, the director of that facility was handing out $10 million in bonuses to doctors and administrators.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com.