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When President Obama signed a sweeping $15 billion bill to end delays at Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals two years ago, lawmakers standing with him applauded the legislation as a bold response that would finally break the logjam.
It has not quite worked out that way.
Although veterans say they have seen improvement under the bill, it has often fallen short of expectations. Nowhere is the shortfall more clear than in the wait for appointments: Veterans are waiting longer to see doctors than they were two years ago, and more are languishing with extreme waiting times.
According to the agency’s most recent data, 526,000 veterans are waiting more than a month for care. And about 88,000 of them are waiting more than three months.
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