U.S. Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) met with Veteran Services officers and others on how to improve the Veterans Administration (VA) enormous backlog and touting access to health care.
Senator Johnson was in Rapid City Monday to present his 10–point action plan to reduce the backlog through a combination of targeting investments and using accountability and oversight at regional VA offices.
As of August 10, the VA had a backlog of nearly 490,000 claims.
Some of the senators plans to reduce this number include upgrading computer hardware at VA regional offices, as well as assessing the performance of processing claims.
Johnson says although he has a plan, he wants to listen to those who deal with the VA on a regular basis for advice.
"Insights are important," said Johnson. "Their insights to me are important to me and they have backgrounds that such is very valuable."
The Department of Veterans Affairs has a goal of ending the backlog completely by 2015.
A claim is considered a backlog if it is over 125 days old.