When Donald Trump ran for President, he provided his opinion on the state of the Department of Veterans Affairs: “The current state of the Department of Veterans Affairs is absolutely unacceptable. Over 300,000—and this is hard to believe, and it’s actually much more than that now—over 300,000 veterans died waiting for care.”
Well, 200,000 more veterans are about to keep waiting for care because President Trump has decided to purge that many applications for VA healthcare. These applications were affected by administrative errors in the VA’s enrollment system that had been extensively documented by the Office of the Inspector General in 2015 and 2017.
The purge means that the VA is declaring the applications incomplete rather than working with the veterans to fix the errors and speed up the amount of time it could take to get approved. Now, veterans will have to reapply for benefits with a new application, and they will have to start over and reset the clock on how long they will have to wait to start receiving benefits.
The purge also comes in direct opposition to recommendations made by the Senate and House Veterans Affairs committee members in 2017 when they asked the VA to delay the purge so that letters could be sent to veterans to inform them of the errors and give them a chance to fix them.