Keep Shinseki but fix VA
It's easy to understand the frustration of veterans groups that have called for the resignation or dismissal of former Gen. Eric Shinseki, secretary of veterans affairs. Veterans have earned medical care, yet there is a substantial backlog at VA medical centers. And the VA itself has acknowledged that 23 veterans have died while awaiting care.
Firing Gen. Shinseki won't resolve the problems, however. On his watch, the backlog at least has been reduced from a high of 611,000 in March 2013 to less than 350,000 now.
That, of course, is of scant comfort to the people on the waiting list. But getting rid of Gen. Shinseki isn't going to get them off that list. Congress needs to launch an all-out effort to ensure that the VA has the structure and resources to meet its obligations.
The House recently passed a bill to increase V.A. medical funding by $1.4 billion, boosting it to a total of more than $54 billion. And House Speaker John Boehner said other legislation will give the VA secretary far greater power to demand accountability across the system.
Gen. Shinseki has acknowledged the need for reform and has demonstrated the willingness and ability to carry it out. With appropriate tools, he can drive more improvement.