Americans are divided as to who they think is most to blame for the problems at Veterans Administration medical facilities, but Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki and the VA (33%) receive more blame than either local VA hospitals (28%) or President Barack Obama (17%). About a qua
rter doesn’t have an opinion.
Who do You Blame Most for the Problems at the VA?
Total Reps Dems Inds Veterans Eric Shinseki and the VA 33% 31% 39% 30% 36% Local VA hospitals 28 20 30 30 29 Barack Obama 17 30 7 17 18
23 19 23 23 17 65% of Americans and 61% of veterans think administrators at VA hospitals deliberately hid information about how long patients had to wait for medical care at these facilities. Among those who have heard or read a lot about the story, this rises to 76%.
Did VA Hospitals Deliberately Hide Long Wait Times?
Total Heard or read a lot Veterans Yes 65% 76% 61% No 16 12 19
18 11 20 62% of Americans believe the problems involving VA medical facilities are widespread; just 23% think they are limited to a few isolated incidents. Those who have heard or read a lot are particularly likely to see the problem as widespread (75%), as are veterans (70%).
The Problems at VA Hospitals
Total Heard or read a lot Veterans Widespread 62% 75% 70% A few isolated incidents 23 19 25
15 6 6 Americans split as to the root cause of the long wait times for patients. 42% think the problems of long waiting times at Veterans Administration medical facilities are the result of not having enough resources to take care of patients, but
41% think it’s more a matter of these hospitals
not properly managing their resources. Republicans are more inclined than Democrats or independents to say the problems are more of a management issue.
Long Wait Times at VA Hospitals Are Mostly Due to…
Total Reps Dems Inds Veterans Not having adequate resources 42% 42% 42% 42% 44% Not properly managing resources 41 47 39 40 43
Other reason/don’t know
17 11 20 18 12 Overall opinion of the Veterans Administration itself remains more positive than negative, though positive views have declined since last fall. 50% of Americans have a favorable opinion of the Veterans Administration (an 18 point drop from the 68% favorable rating the Pew Research Center recorded in October 2013).