LETTER TO THE EDITOR: VA Spending on Postage

To the Editor,
Approval rating for the House of Representatives is in the teens, so I guess a House Sub-Committee rating would be lower? I’ve heard it said that Congress couldn’t find its gluteus maximus with both hands, but the VA makes mistakes so big, even Congress can’t miss them.
Here’s one:  in 2016 the VA spent $355 million on postage, according to Stars & Stripes. The VA Medical Center in Atlanta spent $11,257.00 dollars to send one package (got to be a lot of stamps!)
Back to the $355 million — I don’t know why these costs continue to rise while the veteran population continues to drop here in Rockland.  We are at a third of the veterans that were here in the 1980s.  What could they possibly be mailing?  VA compensation and pension checks are now direct deposit, benefit claims are done online.
The VA claims its costs are rising because of having to mail prescriptions to veterans. Surely they can make a deal with CVS or Rite Aid to allow veterans to pick up their prescriptions locally, then re-supply the drugs. Or did I forget to mention in that $355 million, the VA didn’t count the mailing cost of their 1100 community-based clinics.  There are 300 Vet centers and there are 147 Cemeteries.  Comforting to know these are the same folks that are overseeing our veterans being cut open. Silly me, they have to keep those 147 Cemeteries busy one way or another!
Sincerely,
Jerry Donnellan
Retired Veterans Service Agency of Rockland County director