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How did it come to this?

The VA scandal gets worse every day, and there’s a lot about it I just don’t understand.

It is obvious that the root of the problem is staffing. If there were enough doctors and nurses, there would be no wait times. But why is the VA’s medical system understaffed? Is the funding too low? Is there a nationwide shortage of doctors and nurses? Is the VA’s compensation not competitive?

Why were local VA hospital directors not sending memos every day to Eric Shinseki telling him they were understaffed and couldn’t meet their obligations to our vets? If they were, why wasn’t Shinseki in touch every day with members of the House and Senate Committees on Veterans Affairs telling members he needed more resources? Of course, it seems clear now that the local directors were just covering their butts and trying to protect their bonuses. But even that makes little sense. Did they really think they could get away with it forever? The cover-up is almost always worse than the crime.

And, are we to believe that no vets on those waiting lists complained? Did they call their member of Congress? Did they look for support from veterans organizations? (There are 49 of them in the U.S.) I can’t believe they all passively accepted what they were told and decided to wait patiently. Why didn’t we hear their complaints? Why did it take a retired doctor in Phoenix to blow the lid off this thing?

How did it come to this?