Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: â€śIdeas
for the VA: A bipartisan effort seeks to
cut the claims backlogâ€ť
(Washington, D.C.) â€“ In an
editorial posted last week, the Pittsburgh
Post-Gazette highlights the bipartisan work
of U.S. Senators Dean Heller (R-NV) and Bob
Casey (D-PA) as they search for ways to
reduce the backlog of veteransâ€™
Ideas for the VA: A
bipartisan effort seeks to cut the claims
July 19, 2013
The backlog at the U.S. Department of
Veterans Affairs has been a national
disgrace for at least two decades. Although
the number of veterans who have been
waiting on a disability claim for more than
125 days has begun to shrink, 523,000
wounded warriors are still affected. This
Reforming the VA has to be a bipartisan
effort and, fortunately, Sen. Bob Casey, a
Pennsylvania Democrat, and Sen. Dean
Heller, a Nevada Republican, are teaming up
to find ways to cut the waiting list.
The senators plan to issue an "idea
report" with proposals that could be turned
into legislative action in the fall that
might alleviate the wait time dramatically.
Veterans groups are encouraged and have
pledged to support the lawmakers'
For its part, the VA said it will be
happy to hear the senators' suggestions.
That's a good thing -- 65 percent of
veterans who are disabled and in need of
financial help have been waiting more than
four months for aid. In the Pittsburgh
area, the situation is worse; of the 10,278
claims pending here, 76 percent have
dragged on for more than 125 days.
Americans ask the men and women who
defend their country to make sacrifices
that many citizens would never consider.
These veterans shouldn't be asked to forgo
decent medical services and financial
support on top of all their other
sacrifices. No decent society would ask
that of those who have given so much.
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