Friday, January 30, 2009

GAO Calls Out VA on Veterans Healthcare Costs

The Government Accountability Office recently released a report criticizing the Veteran's Administration for overestimating the number of veterans to be treated at hospices and community clinics, thus understating its estimated costs. Additionally, the VA did not fully account for the spending on 25,000 veterans at VA nursing homes. The VA acknowledged that they had problems in planning for long-term care and may have been overly conservative in cost estimates because of fears of "budgetary constraints." The nursing home shortfall came because while nursing home often used nursing homes for short-term (less than 90 day) care, the VA asserted that the government was not legally required to pay for such care in most cases.

Yowl!--the nursing home shortfall is hard to reconcile with any notion of disclosure or transparency and the understating of costs--while perhaps less egregious--still smacks of too much emphasis on the politics of a situation and too little on the substance. Unquestionably, federal spending is out-of-control; nevertheless, there would appear to be THOUSANDS of other forms of spending where constraints would be more justified compared to pinching pennies on the care of those who bravely fought to protect our country.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank You for your thoughts on this topic Dr. Meyer. I am one of your students and also a veteran. It's always nice to see that Americans agree we should not be cheap when it comes to the medical care of our veterans, especially those wounded in combat. It is a shame that this country wastes so much money on needless things that could go to better causes.

10:33 AM  

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