Department of Veterans Affairs

The Veterans Administration got $2.5 billion to add more doctors, nurses and other staff. An NPR investigation finds that total staff didn't rise much more than it might have without that money. We examine reasons why it's hard to bring new medical personnel into the VA, including a cumbersome hiring process.

VA Secretary nominee David Shulkin tours the Cinncinati VA medical center in July 2016.
Dept. of Veterans Affairs

Some vets question whether President-elect Donald Trump's nominee for Secretary of Veterans Affairs -- a current VA Under Secretary -- will bring reforms to the agency.

The VA is giving more some nurse practitioners more autonomy to treat patients, but not all of them will be free from physician oversight.


Jeff Lynch survived catastrophic injuries from his two deployments to Iraq, but they left him unable to have children naturally.
Brian Batista / American Homefront

Thousands of veterans have suffered combat injures that left them infertile. For the first time, the VA will pay for treatments to help them have children.

Transgender veterans hoping the veterans administration would cover their sex reassignment surgery were dealt a setback after the administration dropped the plan.


Secretary of Veterans Affairs Bob McDonald testifies before a Senate committee in January 2016 on the VA's efforts to streamline the disability appeals process.
CSPAN

Veterans with denied disability claims wait an average of four to five years for appeals hearings. The VA predicts the delay will get worse if Congress doesn't streamline the process.

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