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President Obama has failed to make good on his promise to eliminate a backlog of benefits claims at the VA. As of Nov. 5, the day before Obama won re-election, 558,230 of the 820,106 veterans seeking disability coverage had their claims pending for more than the 125-day target. That’s a whopping 68.1 percent, or nearly double the 36 percent backlog rate rate in the summer of 2010.VA officials took trips to conferences in the vacation Mecca of Orlando, Fla., that cost taxpayers more than $6 million.The VA wasted more than $5 million buying encryption software it never used.An audit found veterans at the VA’s Memphis hospital had been left waiting an average of 10 hours for emergency room admission, with little done by management to improve the situation

The VA says it is taking the erroneous payment problem seriously, forming a task force governed by its Chief Financial Officer last year that has already held several summits “to increase our knowledge of improper payments – types of improper payments, what types are avoidable, what types aren’t, and root causes.”

“These actions will set the stage for our work in the coming years,” it added.