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Report: 200,000 Veterans Waiting For VA Health Care Have Died

An internal Department of Veterans Affairs report, "Analysis of Death Services," claims that more than 200,000 veterans have died while waiting for health care.

The Huffington Post reports it obtained the information from Scott Davis, who works as a program specialist at the VA's Health Eligibility Center in Atlanta, Georgia.

The April 2015 report was reportedly created by the VA Health Eligibility Center and the VA Office of Analytics.

The Huffington Post reports, "As of April, there were 847,822 veterans listed as pending for enrollment in VA health care. Of those, 238,657 are now deceased, meaning they died after they applied for, but never got, health care."

VA spokeswoman Walinda West claims some of the deceased vets never completed their applications.

West added that nearly 81 percent of vets who apply to the VA for health care "have either Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare or some other private insurance."

"Consequently, some in pending status may have decided to use other options instead of completing their eligibility application," West said.

Davis countered that incomplete applications are not listed as pending by the VA, and that West is talking about the general health records system, not the completed applications that are pending.

Davis added that the VA has required that vets enroll since 1998, and reportedly provided a chart created by the VA that proves applications have been pending since 1998.

Davis slammed West's claim about vets having other health care insurance and options as "immaterial and a farce."

Davis also stated:

"VA wants you to believe, by virtue of people being able to get health care elsewhere, it's not a big deal. But VA is turning away tens of thousands of veterans eligible for health care.

"VA is making it cumbersome, and then saying, 'See? They didn't want it anyway.'" reports, "The VA provides $95 billion worth of entitlements to veterans each year. However, according to the agency’s own figures from 2008, only 36 percent of the 23.4 million military veterans from all wars were receiving benefits and services — about 8.5 million."

Eric Hannel, who works as the staff director of the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, told The Huffington Post that it is looking into the report.

Representatives for the White House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committee didn't respond to the report.

Sources: The Huffington Post, / Image credit: Department of Veterans Affairs Logo


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