Many Americans, particularly veterans themselves, feel that health care from the Veterans Administration is substandard
Over the past month the Veterans Administration (VA) has become embroiled in a serious scandal after it emerged that hospitals were falsifying waiting lists to conceal long waits for care. At the VA in Phoenix a 'secret' waiting list, that wasn't reported to Washington D.C., was kept in order to avoid the VA's own rules on how long of a wait veterans should face in order to see a doctor. Some veterans even died from critical problems while waiting for care. The American Legion, the main organization representing veterans, has called for the resignation of the Secretary of Veteran Affairs Eric Shinseki because of the VA health crisis.
The latest research from YouGov shows that 47% of Americans think that the care provided in VA hospitals for returning war veterans is worse than the care they would receive at normal hospitals. Only 21% think that it is of equal quality, and 12% say that it is actually better. Among individuals who have themselves served in the military, 72% say that the care for returning war veterans in VA hospitals is worse than in normal hospitals.
When asked about the care provided by the VA, individuals who have previously served in the military are also noticeably more likely to have worries about the VA treating their family. 59% of veterans would not feel comfortable with members of their family being treated by the VA, compared to 49% of veterans' relatives and 40% of people with no family history of military service.
In a statement today after meeting with Secretary Shinseki, President Obama promised that misconduct would be punished and that the allegations are 'disgraceful'. Despite forceful words over the scandal itself, Obama did defend the record of Secretary Shinseki.
Full poll results can be found here.