Ensuring veterans’ safety has once again slipped through the cracks at the VA. According to a recent report, there has been a hole in the roof of the Spokane, Washington VA Medical Center, causing water to leak into the facility, for the past five years.
A Spokane, Washington newspaper, the Spokesman-Review,found House Veterans Affairs Committee staff investigated the conditions at the facility from the request of U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers. The investigators’ findings were quite astonishing:
“McMorris Rodgers said VA staff has known about the problem, evidenced by the fact that someone had built a rectangular funnel to catch water dripping through the roof…But the make-shift-leak-management system is located only feet from hospital’s large electrical panel that fuels power to the entire facility, she said.”
The executive assistant of the facility did not respond to questions about why it had not been fixed, but insisted they “have an action plan in place to fix the roof.”
Officials with the VA claim increasing their bottom line will allow them to fix, and prevent, issues like this from happening. However, that is not always the case. McMorris Rodgers expressed her frustration that she’s acceded to these demands, but issues keep occurring:
“I’ve been told its funding. ‘We need more money. But as a representative for this district, I know I have voted to increase the budget every year for the VA.”
Throwing more money at the VA has never been a solution to increasing quality care. As House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Phil Roe pointed during a recent floor speech, the VA has received historic funding increases. Since 2009, the VA budget has increased by more than $83 billion. Despite the funding increases, the reports of negligence, misconduct, waste, and abuse have persisted.
The Spokane facility underscores this dilemma. According to the prior director there were millions of dollars of unused funds at the end of the year. Yet, the hole in the roof went unfixed for several years.
We can’t keep throwing money at the VA and expect it to change. Congress needs to ensure that the VA’s budget is spent effectively and efficiently. The status quo at the VA is not acceptable – but spending billions of dollars more every year is not the solution to changing it.
The post #VAFail – After 5 Years, Spokane, WA Facility Still Has Not Fixed Hole in Roof appeared first on Concerned Veterans for America.