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By David Keene
Conference showed that the values Reagan cherished still endure
Topic - Shinseki
President Obama touts veterans care as a top priority of his presidency, but lawmakers increasingly weary of the long waits and hassles that veterans face in receiving disability benefits are pressuring Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinsheki to produce results.
Although the number of pending veterans' disability claims keep soaring, Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki on Sunday said he's committed to ending the backlog in 2015 by replacing paper with electronic records.
he told senators that the backlog is "unacceptable" and pledged to eliminate it by 2015, the same year he hopes to have the transition from paper to electronic records complete.
He said a recent decision to allow more post-traumatic stress disorder cases and add new diseases, such as exposure to Agent Orange, to the list of illnesses and conditions the agency would treat as a disability ballooned the agency's case burden by the hundreds of thousands.