According to Stars & Stripes, Ric Shinseki and Leon Panetta made a joint appearance in front of their oversight committees; House Armed Services and House Veterans Affairs committees; to smile and wave away questions about why their clerks can’t talk to each other about veterans’ health records;
“Collaboration and cooperation between VA and DOD have never been more important, and I think for the next two decades … this will be the work of the nation,” Shinseki said.
The agencies represent the two largest bureaucracies in the country, in terms of personnel and funding.
Panetta said the VA health care system is already “overwhelmed” with claims from troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, and he expects problems to get worse as the Afghan war winds down and the military starts reducing its personnel numbers.
Shinseki said he and Panetta have met regularly, sorting out ways to ease transition out of the military.
Like I’ve said before, when I left the military in 1994, my records were sent to the VA after I turned them in at outprocessing and within a few months, I had appoints scheduled for me and jumped through the hoops to get my care finalized. So what the hell has changed, well, except that technology should have made it easier than the days that they sent actual paper records between agencies?
I’m sure there are some critics out there with more knowledge of the problem than me, but to me this is just sloth on the part of bureaucrats when there used to be a completely acceptable system that worked admirably and now there’s not.