Personally speaking, I’ve had a great experience at the VA. I’ve taken a couple trips to the ER, had some routine checkups, received quality treatment for a broken finger, and a couple other small things here and there. Many (not all) of the people I have met that complain about the VA are often forgetting to mention the faults of their own — they didn’t show up to an appointment, they tried to exaggerate claims, or they simply like to complain. On top of that, I had known plenty of people who had received just as good care as I had over the years, and they didn’t seem like any wild exceptions.

So when I went into the world of the VA as a journalist, I was a bit skeptical.

However, my evidence is purely anecdotal, and largely based on the fact that I have been lucky to be near certain VAs that do have pretty high standards.

As it would turn out, I discovered not only a wild gap in the quality of care from one VA to the next, but there were larger issues to be dealt with than how rude the nurse at the VA ER is, or the month-long delay in getting your VA ID.