Uh-oh. The Obama administration is challenging a ruling by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco that would allow veterans’ groups to go to court to seek an overhaul of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ procedures and timetables to speed health care to veterans.
This decision has some vet groups up in arms. One moment the president is offering his unconditional support – and the next he is sending a clear message not to challenge the system.
You’ve likely heard the stories of vets waiting countless hours in line only to get to the front and then instructed to wait in another line. You’ve also likely heard that the VA is more than 500,000 claims backlogged. Ouch. Granted, since 2009, they have processed and completed 2 million claims – that’s impressive. But before we jump up and down, there are more claims arriving every day and the log jam continues to grow.
Here’s the skinny: The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court’s 2-1 ruling in May followed a 2008 trial in San Francisco that revealed a health care system plagued by delays and gaps in care, particularly for veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with severe mental trauma.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs, Veterans for Common Sense and Veterans United for Truth, told the court Congress could not deny a judicial solution to veterans whose rights are violated.
The Obama Administration disagrees.
It will be interesting to see how this one plays out.