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New PBS documentary includes Atlanta VA enrollment office problems

A new PBS documentary that airs tonight examines problems with the VA health care system and includes mention of problems with the national healthcare enrollment system that serves millions of veterans and is overseen by an office in Atlanta.

The film, VA: The Human Cost of War, which airs on public broadcasting television stations nationwide, takes a sweeping look at the history of the Department of Veterans Affairs and the challenges it's faced over the decades trying to serve veterans.  The current crisis of veteran suicide is the latest in a series of problems the VA has struggled to address.

The documentary, which airs at 10 p.m. on Georgia Public Broadcasting, includes an interview with Atlanta whistleblower Scott Davis, who testified before Congress in 2014 about problems at the VA's Health Eligibility Center that operates in an office building off Clairmont Road.

The center was the subject of an AJC investigation in 2014 that revealed more than 800,000 health care applications were stuck in an administrative backlog. Some 300,000 were from veterans who died before their application was adequately processed by the VA. The documentary mentions a 2015 inspector general's report that confirmed the findings of the investigation, which included information provided by Davis and other whistleblowers.

Davis said the documentary, directed by Ric Burns, was shown in a special screening last spring at President Trump's Mar-A-Lago resort in Palm Beach.


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About the Author

Brad Schrade is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter on the AJC’s investigative team.