The Red Tape Diaries - Veteran Benefits

  • Aired:  03/27/13
  •  | Views: 83,677

Many parts of the Iraq War have gone wrong, including proper care for America's veterans. (6:53)

THANK YOU.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

SO FIXING PROBLEMS WHERE DO WE START?

>> ANYONE OF US HAVE HEARD WHAT IT'S LIKE TO KNAVE GATE THE BROKEN BUREAUCRACY OF VA, THE

IMPOSSIBLY LONG LINES OR THE REPEATED CALLS FOR HELP THAT GET YOU NOTHING MORE THAN AN

ANSWERING MACHINE.

>> Jon: THAT SOUNDS LIKE 2008.

SORRY.

>> IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE THIS WAY.

NOT IN THIS COUNTRY.

THERE'S MANY ASPECTSES OF THE WAR IN IRAQ THAT HAVE GONE WRONG BUT CARING FOR THE VETERANS IS

ONE THING WE CAN STILL GET RIGHT.

>> Jon: BRAVO IT'S THE LEAST WE CAN DO.

FOR THOSE WHO RISK THEIR LIVES FOR THOSE WHO DEFEND THE COUNTRY.

I FOR ONE AM EXCITED TO HEAR ABOUT THE PROGRESS WE'VE MADE ON THAT FRONT OVER THE PAST FIVE YEARS.

I'M IN NO WAY EXPECTING TO BE DISAPPOINTED THAT WE'VE NOT SOLVED THIS BUT IT'S WORSENED.

LET ME REMIND YOU, THIS IS MY FIRST TIME WATCHING THIS SHOW AND --

[LAUGHTER]

-- SO I'M NOT SURE HOW THE SOUND BITES WORK.

>> SINCE PRESIDENT OBAMA TOOK OFFICE THE NUMBER OF VETERANS WAITING MORE THEN A YEAR FOR

BENEFITS JUMPED FROM 11,000 IN 2009 TO 24 5,000 THIS PAST DECEMBER.

THAT'S A MORE THAN 2000% INCREASE.

>> TODAY NEARLY 900,000 VETERANS ARE WAITING FOR DISABILITY CLAIM IT'S BE PROS SESD.

THE AVERAGE WAIT, 273 DAYS.

>> Jon: THAT'S (bleep) SHAMEFUL.

THE V.A. HAS A BACKLOVING 900,000 PEOPLE.

McDONALDS HANDLES TEN TIMES THAT MANY CUSTOMERS IN AN HOUR AND MAY I REMIND YOU, THEY ARE

RUN BY A CLOWN.

[ LAUGHTER ]

A CLOWN WHO --

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

-- I WILL SAY THIS -- IN THEIR DEFENSE -- A CLOWN WHO ENTIRE ADMINISTRATION HAS BEEN

THREATENED BY A VICIOUS CRIMINAL MASTERMIND.

IF ANYONE HAS SPOTTED THIS SO CALLED HAMBURGLAR OR HIS HENCHMEN DO NOT ATTEMPT TO

ENGAGE HIM YOURSELF.

CALL OUR CRIME TIP LINE AT 8008-BRIAN WILLIAMS HOUSE.

[LAUGHTER]

I THOUGHT THEY WERE GOING TO MODERNIZE THE V.A. SYSTEM.

>> THEY ARE GOING TO COMPUTERIZE CLAIMS.

>> 97% OF V.A. DISABILITY CLAIMS ARE ON PAPER IN.

IN THE YEAR 201397% ARE STILL ON PAPER.

>> Jon: THE V.A. STILL USES PAPER.

I'M A 50-YEAR-OLD MAN WHO STILL ORDERS HIS CASSETTE TAPES FROM COLUMBIA HOUSE AND I DON'T EVEN

USE PAPER.

TODAY I READ A MAGAZINE, PAID MY BILLS, SENT A LETTER AND FOUND A RECIPE AND WIPED MY ASS ALL

WITHOUT USING PAPER.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

WHICH REMINDS ME -- DOES REMIND ME, CAN YOU WASH A KINDLE?

[LAUGHTER]

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

SO WHAT HAPPENED?

WHY HAVEN'T THEY MODERNIZED THE SYSTEM?

>> THE EFFORTS TO ACHIEVE ELECTRONIC RECORD CAPABILITY HAVE BEEN LIMITED BY

LONG-STANDING PROJECT MANAGEMENT, WEAKNESSES, INADEQUATE ACCOUNTABILITY AND POOR OVERSIGHT.

>> Jon: BUREAUCRATIC INCOMPETENCE, I GET IT, PROBABLY CAUSED BY THE REPUBLICANS AND

THE OBSTRUCTION AND UNDERFUNDING.

COME ON SOUND BITE SUPPORT MY NOTION.

COME ON.

>> YOU NEED MORE PEOPLE, PROCESSORS, WHAT DO YOU NEED?

>> IN THE PAST FOUR YEARS IF YOU LOOK AT OUR BUDGETS FOR V.A. A 40% INCREASE 20 OUR BUDGET AT A

TIME WHEN OTHER DEPARTMENTS HAVE GONE THROUGH BELT TIGHTENING.

>> Jon: REPUBLICANS, THEY MADE IT IMPOSSIBLE FOR THE V.A. TO FIND THE RECORDS UNDER ALL THE

MONEY THEY DUMPED ON THE AGENCY.

[LAUGHTER]

FUNNY STORY.

AS IT TURNED OUT THE DEFENSE DEPARTMENT USES A MEDICAL TRACKING PROGRAM CALLED AHLTA

WHILE THE V.A. USED A SUPERIOR PROGRAM CALLED VISITA.

THOSE TWO -- VISTA.

THOSE TWO PROGRAMS -- I SWEAR IT'S TRUE -- THOSE TWO PROGRAMS ARE UNABLE TO COMMUNICATE WITH

EACH OTHER.

[ LAUGHTER ]

HOW INSANE IS THIS COMPLICATION EVEN THE ANALOGY EXPLAINING WHY THE TWO COMPUTER SYSTEMS CAN'T

WORK TOGETHER IS FUNDAMENTALLY FLAWED.

>> LET ME USE THIS ANALOGY, AN XBOX AND PLAYSTATION CAN PLAY THE SAME GAME ON THE SAME TV

SCREEN BUT THEY DON'T TALKING TO THE.

>> Jon: THAT MAKES SENSE BUT THEY DON'T TALK BECAUSE THEY ARE COMPETITORS.

THEIR MISSION IS TO DESTROY EACH OTHER.

[ LAUGHTER ]

WHICH IS NOT THE RELATIONSHIP WE EXPECT FROM THE PART OF GOVERNMENT THAT TAKES CARE OF

OUR DISABLED VETERANS AND THE PART OF GOVERNMENT THAT CREATES THEM.

SO WHILE I GUESS YOU COULD --

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

-- SO I GUESS YOU COULD SPEND A BILLION DOLLARS OVER FOUR YEARS TRYING TO GET ONE KID'S XBOX

GAMES TO WORK WITH OTHER KIDS PLAYSTATION GAMES AS OR AS THE FAMILY PARENT OR COMMANDER IN

CHIEF, YOU COULD JUST COMMAND WE'RE GOING TO USE THE XBOX.

THE POINT IS IF YOU ARE MAKING THE CASE THAT GOVERNMENT HAS A MEANINGFUL ROLE TO PLAY IN

IMPROVING PEOPLE'S LIVES, THEN WHEN YOU ARE NOT OBSTRUCTED FROM DOING WHAT YOU WANT, YOU BETTER

(bleep) BRING IT.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

IF WE'RE SMART -- AND IF WE'RE SMART AND TECH LOGICALLY SAVVY ENOUGH TO CREATE FLYING UNMANNED

ROBOTS WITH 1.8GIGAPIXEL CAMERAS THAT CAN SPOT ENEMIES FROM MILES AWAY, WE SHOULD BE ABLE TO COOK

UP A NETWORK SPREAD SHEET PROGRAM WHICH KNOWS WHICH LEG A SOLDIER HAS LOST WITHOUT HAVING

HIM FILL OUT FORM AFTER FORM AND COMING IN FOR A PERSONAL OBSERVANCE.

OTHERWISE BEFORE LONG THESE GUYS WON'T

Loading...