Four things Washington could do right now to fix the VA

1. Congress could ask doctors—not veterans—to handle the paperwork.

Under the Veterans Affairs Administration’s current system, veterans must fill out lengthy and complicated claims forms if they want reimbursement for their care, and those forms often arrive at the agency either incomplete or incorrect.

Compare that with the private insurance carried by most civilians, whose doctors typically submit reimbursement to the insurer. Were a similar process to be adopted by the VA, the agency would be receiving claims by legal professionals or military doctors who would be better trained and more accustomed to filling them out—and thus much more likely to file them accurately.

So what would it take to relieve veterans of the responsibility for filling out forms that most privately insured patients are free of?

An act of Congress, and a signature from Obama.

The VA claims process is set by statute, and so to change it lawmakers would have to pass new legislation allowing for changes. And there are other changes they might consider as well …