VA Hiring Spree Added Over 100,000 More Staffers, Is Increased Spending Helping Veterans?

va spending

By Adam Andrzejewski for RealClearPolicy

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is so overwhelmed and unable to serve veterans who need medical care that it sends veterans to private doctors in the VA Community Care program.

But even that system is overwhelmed, with a current backlog of 17,000 Atlanta-area veterans waiting to get appointments. Some are waiting more than six months, according to WSB-TV in Atlanta.

One of those veterans was diagnosed with colon cancer on Nov. 8, 2020, but didn’t receive further testing, screening, or treatment for many months.

His cancer was treated only after he came back to the Atlanta VA Medical Center emergency room in severe pain months later, the TV station reported.

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It turns out his abdominal pain was due to cancer in the colon, liver and pancreas. That veteran died Oct. 31, 2021.

His story is only one of many unfortunate ones that WSB-TV reported on, as the VA has been unable to manage basic systems, including allowing unopened mail to sit for months and delays in processing paperwork necessary to get life-saving care.

This shouldn’t be happening.

The VA has had a hiring spree, employing 421,542 people in 2020 — an increase of almost 50,000 people since 2016, according to our recent oversight report “Mapping the Swamp: A Study of the Administrative State (FY2020).”

VA employee numbers are up 106,037 since 2012 but only 6,674 are doctors.

The VA payroll for 2020 was $36.8 billion, with 109,386 employees earning $100,000 or more; 28,248 employees earning $200,000 or more and 7,454 employees earning $300,000 or more.

The VA has been given enough resources. The big question: Is the VA an employment farm or a medical system?

Our veterans deserve answers.

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