New HVAC Web Site Highlights VA’s Press Avoidance.
Veterans hear the visceral lament all the time about their disability claim appeals: “Delay, Deny, Wait Until I Die.”
Now both Congress and journalists are up in arms over chronic delays and denials for reasonable questions asked to top Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) officials. The nicest way to describe the situation is that Senators, Representatives, and reporters are getting a bitter taste of what Veterans get every day: stonewalling.
As VA’s claim backlog continues festering, and as VA hospitals reveal preventable Veteran patient deaths, the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee (HVAC) set up three new web sites:
- Trials in Transparency tracks Congressional inquiries unanswered by VA, often for years.
- VA Honesty Project lists nearly 70 adversarial interactions between VA and reporters in the past year.
- VA Accountability Watch monitors VA’s top officials, some of whom remain involved with VA’s claim backlog and patient deaths.
As expected, journalists are now writing stories about VA’s significant inability to answer even the simplest questions asked by reporters, especially when VA has more than 50 public affairs officials:
- Mark Flatten at the Washington Examiner: House committee puts up website to track stonewalling by Veterans Affairs press office.
- Howard Altman at the Tampa Tribune: House committee website targets VA failure to provide information.
- CJ Ciaramella at the Washington Free Beacon: Veterans Affairs Stonewalling the Press.
The bottom line: VA remains out of touch with reporters, Congress, and especially some of our disabled Veterans. VA’s ivory tower isolation is so entrenched and severe that VA remains unable to provide proper internet access to visually-impaired Veterans. VA clearly needs a dose of sunlight.