Report: Long Wait Times and Bad Data Afflict VA Program

The Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014 (Choice Act) was meant to address serious problems with wait times for veterans’ access to care by opening a door to the private sector. A report released today by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), however, found that the flawed implementation of the Choice Program led to substantial wait times—and might have once again resulted in US Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) staffers falsifying dates to minimize the problem.

The Choice Program is set to eventually expire, though the massive VA reform bill passed just weeks ago makes its core mission permanent. But the problems unearthed by the new GAO report will need to be addressed for the long-term incarnation of the Choice Program to be successful.

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