With the end of the midterm elections, the 116th Congress will have 92 veterans serving in the House and Senate. About half of these served in the military after the 9/11 attacks. While the total percentage of vets in office is nowhere as high as it was in the 1970s — when it was 75% — it’s still significant. On this Veterans Day, my hope is that veteran lawmakers of both parties will come together and lead the rest of Congress to address the issues so important to us.
The Veterans Administration has been a basket case for decades. A boondoggle of waste, abuse, and inefficiency. The issues are systemic rather than policy driven, and there exists no clear strategy to fix them. Ask any veteran what the mission of the VA is and you’ll get blank stares. It is the system of care that is the problem — top-down, bureaucratic and process-driven rather than patient outcome driven. Worse than your local DMV.
The VA is also really good at patient submission through prescription. Just give them pills and send them on their way. These hard drugs end up escalating issues rather than treating them away holistically.
The problem, no clear mission, and a lack of focus. They could learn a lesson from John Doerr and his objectives and key results evangelism that spring-boarded Google to greatness.