The Veterans Health Administration is the largest healthcare system in the United States. But it is still classified as "high risk" for waste and mismanagement by the Government Accountability Office. Two Congressmen want to change that.
Rep. Chris Pappas, D-N.H., and Rep. Jack Bergman, R-Mich., introduced the Reducing High Risk to Veterans Services Act, aiming to improve management and care at the VHA so that it can get off the GAO's list of high-risk federal government programs most susceptible to waste, mismanagement and fraud.
Bergman said the bill "will improve accountability and urgency within the VA - two principles essential to ensuring our Veterans are receiving the care and benefits they deserve ... The GAO recommendations cannot be ignored, and – as the legislation specifies – we must address the 'root causes' of systemic issues that arise."
The VHA has an annual operating cost of more than $84.1 billion and since 2010, GAO has made 343 recommendations related to health care. Of those, 125 have not been fully implemented.
Over the last three years, VA said it has taken steps to address the issues GAO has noted, including modernizing IT support, making policies easier to understand and implement and strengthening oversight and accountability by creating the Office of Integrity, VA spokeswoman Susan Carter told Connecting Vets Friday.