New in GovExec: Never-Ending VA Appeals Process Hurts All Vets

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My latest piece in Government Executive, on the prospect for really making progress on the case backlog at the Department of Veterans Affairs:

“The major reason the backlog doesn’t shrink any faster, the way [an LA Times] story tells it, is that vets submit appeals over and over again when they get outcomes they don’t agree with, hoping against hope for a different outcome. The article tells the story of one vet who did indeed get a different outcome after many tries. He’s still in the system, though – now trying to get retroactive benefits.

“The reason he and the other vets do so? Because they can…

“Some vets appeal dozens of times – or more – and never win. Is infinity the right number of allowable appeals? Probably not. Is one the right number of allowable appeals? Probably not. But where in between those two is the right number? And how does Congress make that decision, as it will inevitably have to do?”

Read the full story here.