Before leaving for his vacation on an island retreat - Obama assures the Vietnam War veterans that his administration has been working on the backlog and has considerably reduced the number of veterans waiting for benefits.
While speaking to the disabled veterans in Orlando he admitted that the huge backlog of veterans waiting for compensation, though the number had considerably reduced in the past 5 months.
"I'm going to be honest with you: It has not moved as fast as I've wanted," he said at the national convention of Disabled American Veterans. "We are not where we need to be, but we are making progress."
This was just before he was scheduled to holiday for eight days on an island at an estate with oceanic views along with First Lady Michelle Obama, daughters Malia and Sasha, and Bo the dog. The president would continue to handle urgent matters, along with games of golf and beach trips and bike riding. He will be accompanied by Susan Rice - the national security advisor, Deputy Chief of Staff - Rob Nabors and Jay Carney - the press secretary.
The President addressed certain hot topics before leaving, at a press conference - about the new efforts to tighten the National Security Agency's surveillance, on cancelling a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Health care law.
He insisted that the health care law would not change the veterans healthcare in any way, "If you already have health insurance, or healthcare from the VA, you do not have to do a thing; your VA healthcare does not change. It is safe; there are no new fees," Obama said. "Don't let them hoodwink you."
The number of claims and had risen sharply in the last 3 years due to the aging population of Vietnam War victims and also many rule changes. In 2011 the claims rose from 200,000 to a staggering 500,000. Approximately 780,000 claims are still pending.
Obama said that new computer systems, more funding and mandatory overtime for processors were "turning the tide." He noted that the administration and Congress had increased funding for the VA while cutting the budget for most other federal agencies. The agency is on track to reach its goal of eliminating the backlog by 2015, the White House said.
Hannah Punitha (IRDA Licence Number: 2710062)