GEORGE W. BUSH: Criticizes VA for Health Care Bungling
In a speech marking the 56th anniversary of the D-Day invasion, Texas Gov. George W. Bush (R) blasted the Department of Veterans Affairs for mishandling veterans' benefits, the Los Angeles Times reports. "Too often in Washington, those who served in the military are remembered only on Veteran's Day," Bush lamented. He argued that the department's handling of health care for veterans "has become a complicated, bureaucratic process with long delays and unfair denials" and blamed the VA for a backlog of 500,000 cases involving benefits claims. Later this week, Bush plans to unveil a proposal to make the department "more responsive and accountable to the folks it serves." John Hanson, a spokesperson for the VA, responded with "mock horror," saying, "I'm stunned, absolutely stunned." According to Hanson, the Clinton administration inherited problems the from Bush's father. "Since we've taken over a fairly inefficient department from his dad, we've tried to revamp [its operations]," he said (Cooper/Fulwood, 6/7).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.