CNN's report late Wednesday that at least 40 veterans died waiting for care at Department of Veterans Affairs facilities in Phoenix is the latest in a way-too-long string of reports of how that agency continues to fail those who have fought for the nation.
The report notes that many of those who died were placed on a secret waiting list designed to keep VA officials in Washington from knowing that wait times were stretching beyond a year. Internal emails indicated the agency's top management in Arizona knew about the practice and even defended it, CNN said.
But wait, there's more: The Washington Examiner's Mark Flatten has compiled information on delays in cancer screenings that contributed to at least 23 patient deaths at VA facilities nationwide. Then there's the story of Army veteran Barry Coates, 44, who told the House Veterans' Affairs Committee that a year-long delay in performing a colonoscopy at a VA hospital in South Carolina had handed him a death sentence.
And the cost is more than just lives: An April 3 story by the Center for Investigative Reporting notes that VA has paid more than $200 million to settle nearly 1,000 wrongful death cases in the decade since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Meanwhile, lawmakers are losing their patience with the VA. A House bill would give Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki the power to fire or demote senior executives who don't meet the grade. The department opposes the bill, but congressional leaders say the VA's efforts to hold people accountable for failures is falling short.
On today's washingtonexaminer.com
Columnist/Jed Babbin: What Republicans need most of all for 2016: Competence.
Columnist/David Freddoso: Dishonesty won't help moderates win over Republican voters.
Columnist/Michael Barone: High court stops short of ending racial quotas and preferences.
Beltway Confidential/Ashe Schow: Can anyone name a Hillary Clinton accomplishment?
Beltway Confidential/Tim Carney: Big business ready for war with conservatives over corporate subsidies.
PennAve/David Drucker: GOP engages with Democrats in battle for women voters.
PennAve/Zack Colman: Energy Department scraps millions in fees for nuclear loan guarantees.
In other news
Washington Post: Homeland Security watchdog altered reports as he sought top job.
Politico: The left's secret club.
National Review: Harry Reid -- A McCarthy for our time.
The Federalist: What Thomas Picketty's popularity tells us about the liberal press.
Weekly Standard: Why the New York Times poll is bogus.
Talking Points Memo: Cliven Bundy wonders if blacks are "better off as slaves."
The Atlantic: Most Disney movies are pro-gay.
Power Line: The Constitution is still constitutional, for now.
Volokh Conspiracy: On freedom of speech, social tolerance and opposition to gay marriage.
Firedoglake: The creeping national security state is getting creepier.
Crooks and Liars: Backlash against privatization is growing.