One year after the scandal over false records and long wait times erupted, the Department of Veterans Affairs is no closer to a solution, and may have to enact austerity measures that will make the problem worse. The number of veterans seeking care who wait a month or more is now 50 percent higher than it was in 2014, and the VA faces a budget shortfall of almost $3 billion. Corrective measures necessary to address the budget issue — furloughs, hiring freezes, rationing new services, etc. — are bound to cause additional delays for veterans seeking medical services.
Not that the VA has stood pat: the VA increased its capacity by more than 7 million patient visits, double what officials had thought necessary to address the wait time issue. Doctors and nurses managed 2.7 million more appointments and authorized 900,000 patients to see outside providers. But the increase in service did not compensate for the increased demand, which at some hospitals rose 20 percent.
These are the conditions that lead to de facto rationing of services. When supply so exceeds demand, veterans are denied services, either surreptitiously, with records falsified and denials of service covered up, or overtly, by instituting restrictions. For example, the New York Times reported an intense internal debate over a proposal that the VA limit access to a more effective, but more costly, treatment for Hepatitis-C.
Many veterans advocates are calling for more funding, but others note that the VA is already one of the fastest growing items in the federal budget, up 235 percent from 2001 to 2014. The systemic problems of the VA may be due more to a failure of leadership than any other factor.
If you or a vet you love has had difficulties getting the services you’re entitled to, Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban may be able to help. Call us at 866-866-VETS or contact our office online.
Thank to Mr. Spencer I was able to get my VA disability claim re-reviewed and given another chance to receive disability. By far he is one of the most professional lawyers I have ever dealt with. So Veterans if you are looking for help with your VA disability claim I would suggest that you hire Macari, Russotto, Spencer, & Balaban. Thanks again for everything.
— Alfred Daye
As a disabled veteran trying to navigate the complexities of the Veterans Administrations regulations, I turned to the law firm of Marcari, Russotto, Spencer and Balaban. They helped me understand what I needed to do and prepared and presented to the VA an excellent presentation of my case. I recommend them for your legal needs.
— Harry Johnson
I was very satisfied with the excellent and professional manner the law firm handled my claim. I highly recommend any veteran who needs help with his or her claim to use Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban P.C. Special thanks to Mr Spencer for being very professional and courteous during the appeal process. Again Thanks to the entire firm for a job well done!
— Luther Henderson
My husband & I highly recommend this law form to any veteran trying to navigate the endless red tape of the VA. We turned to Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban to handle my husband's appeal and could not have been happier. We enjoyed open and consistent communication regarding our case. Any questions we had were answered immediately.
— Michele DeZayas
Amanda Medina-Morales was our point of contact and she kept us up to date on the progress of our case. It was a pleasure and relief knowing that someone truly competent and professional was handling this and fighting for us.
— Michele DeZayas