White House review of VA describes an agency struggling with distrust and a lack of resources

The Associated Press

FILE - In this May 21, 2014, file photo, President Barack Obama speaks in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, about veterans health care. A review of the Veterans Affairs health care system by a top White House aide has concluded that there are "significant and chronic systemic failures" that the VA's leadership must address. A summary of the review by deputy White House chief of staff Rob Nabors says the Veterans Health Administration must be restructured and that a "corrosive culture" has hurt morale and affected the timeliness of health care. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

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By JIM KUHNHENN, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — A review ordered by President Barack Obama portrays the Department of Veterans Affairs as a struggling agency battling a corrosive culture of distrust.

It says the VA lacks resources and is ill-prepared to deal with an influx of new and older veterans with a range of medical and mental health care needs.

The scathing report by deputy White House chief of staff Rob Nabors says the VA is beset by "significant and chronic system failures."

Obama ordered the review in response to reports of long delays for treatment and of veterans dying while awaiting medical appointments.

Nabors' report goes far beyond the lengthy waits and manipulated schedules raised by whistleblowers and chronicled in past internal and congressional investigations. It proposes wholesale restructuring and more doctors, nurses and administrative staff.

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