The Veterans Administration comprises 320,000 employees, 971 hospitals, and a $165 billion budget all designed to serve some nine-million patients. It's the largest health services provider in America, which explains why the recent scandal over appointment wait times, that led to the resignation of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, was such a massive news even in recent weeks.
Phillip Carter is the Director of the Military, Veterans, and Society Program at the Center for a New American Security, and in a recent Slate.com article, he suggested a six-point plan to fix the troubled VA.
Carter suggests that the problems at the VA go far beyond wait times. They are more systemic than the recent scandal suggests. He says the VA needs more money, needs to spend it better, and needs to find a leader with a wide array of skills ranging from leadership to authenticity to political cunning.