The Veteran’s Administration is at the center of a growing scandal encompassing some 26 VA Hospitals – that have been found to have excessively long waiting lists for healthcare. Several states are accused of doctoring those waiting lists to make it look like vets were getting care faster than they were, and some families of vets are saying the situation has resulted in the deaths of their loved ones. A recent investigation by the Dayton Dayton Daily News and Cox Media detailed the situation in Ohio. WYSO’s Jerry Kenney spoke Josh Sweigart, the reporter largely behind that report.
Congress is working on the National Defense Authorization Act for 2015, the major policy bill for the military. The latest House version of the bill prohibits a Base Realignment and Closure, or BRAC in the next couple years, although it does allow the military to start planning for one.
BRACs let the Pentagon recommend military bases and operations to close or move. Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton is the biggest single-site employer in the state, which means the BRAC process is closely watched in the Dayton area.
A report released by the Pentagon this week warns of the consequences of continuing to fund the military at sequestration levels. The across-the-board spending caps have been relieved by a budget deal in Congress, but the Pentagon is saying that by 2021, the Department of Defense will have spent $1 trillion less than it had planned, making cuts in almost all areas including acquisition, research and personnel.