WaPo/ABC News Poll: Everyone Says VA Scandal Is A 'Serious' Problem

June 3, 2014 - 11:43 AM

Well, almost everyone thinks the scandal engulfing Veterans Affairs is a "serious" problem.  A recent Washington Post/ABC News poll cited 97% of respondents describing it as such, with 82% saying it's a "very serious" problem.

And, by everyone saying it's a serious problem, I'm talking about men, women, the middle class, liberal Democrats, conservative Republicans, independents, African Americans, Hispanics, and non-religious Americans - everyone.

Granted, the initial interim IG report said the "current extent of these inappropriate scheduling issues throughout the VA health care system and have confirmed that inappropriate scheduling practices are systemic throughout VHA."  Yeah, I would be a little troubled by that too.

Lastly, the VA audit authorized by former VA Secretary Eric Shinseki found that over 60% of VA health facilities reviewed had a 'systemic lack of integrity' (via Politico):

The audit, issued as VA Secretary Eric Shinseki resigned [last] Friday, found that 64 percent of the 216 VA facilities reviewed had at least one instance where a veterans' desired appointment date had been changed. The review found 13 percent of schedulers had received specific instructions to misrepresent wait times.

"Information indicates that in some cases, pressures were placed on schedulers to utilize inappropriate practices in order to make waiting times appear more favorable," the audit said.

As Noah Rothman of Mediaite, who will soon join Hot Air, noted today regarding the poll, that this is an issue that should have Washington, D.C. shaking in their boots, especially the folks occupying the White House:

What's more, this poll suggests that the administration has not escaped culpability for the scandal. 65 percent of respondents said they believed former VA Sec. Eric Shinseki "was right to resign" over the allegations. While 41 percent say President Barack Obama deserves only "some" blame for the scandal, 79 percent agree that Obama shares fault for the fiasco at the VA. Only 20 percent believe Obama deserves no blame for the failure of oversight at an expanding list of VA hospitals.

Anyone who thinks the political operatives in the White House are not terrified by those numbers is kidding themselves. The VA scandal is an almost perfectly nonpartisan outrage and has outraged the nation. The only saving grace for the administration today is that, while the scandal burned white hot last week, virtually no one is talking about it today. Instead, the media is consumed with the controversial swapping of five Taliban prisoners for U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

And, that is another initiative that seems to be devolving into a fiasco.