- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is being tight-lipped about the quality of care 450,000 veterans in Maryland are receiving.

The Baltimore Sun conducted an investigation into how efficient Maryland VA offices handle disability claims, but the newspaper was met with resistance by the department when asked a simple question: How many cases were pending at the time of these soldiers’ deaths?

The best guess comes from San Francisco’s Bay Citizen, which estimates that 19,500 veterans died between October 2011 to September 2012 while waiting for care. That number was tabulated by investigating the $437 million in retroactive benefits paid to the survivors of the deceased veterans, according to the paper’s report.

In addition to not returning calls for The Sun’s investigation, the VA would not provide information regarding managers who were removed for performance issues.

Maryland largely is considered to have one of the least efficient VA operations in the nation.