U.S. Congressman Beto O’Rourke visited the studio today to discuss the shocking results of his survey on the state of Veterans health care in El Paso.

The Veterans Administration says that, on average, a veteran seeking a mental health appointment waits 14 days. According to O’Rourke’s survey, it’s actually 71 days.

Something doesn’t add up.

You can listen to the interview further down in this post. Here are some bullet points.

----The survey relied on self-reporting from local veterans.

--- In El Paso, there are 19 psychiatric professional positions that are unfilled.

--- The VA offers much lower wages than the civilian job market.

----According to O’Rourke, in the past qualified health professionals have been reluctant to relocate to El Paso because of quality of life issues. He says that issue is getting better.

--- Veterans reported being called and told their appointment had been cancelled. But, later, VA records showed that the appointment had been a “no-show”…meaning the veteran had not shown up for their appointment. This is one way the VA could “cook the books” to make it appear that they are seeing more patients than they actually are.

---The VA is stretched too thin on personnel and funding.

---The doctors and other medical staff at VA facilities work long hours for less pay than they would get in the private sector. The doctors and nurses are very good but their aren’t enough of them and the administration of the VA is a bureaucratic mess.