Lax Oversight Puts Millions Of Private Well Users At Risk

Most of the 43 million Americans who rely on private wells — some 288,000 in Iowa — don’t know if their water is safe to drink because unlike the regulation of public water systems, there is no government monitoring of wells. Another New21 water quality report, with links to IowaWatch reporting.

Charities Prey On Those Wanting To Support Veterans

Overall, 1 percent of the charities raising money for veterans groups get 86 percent of the revenue. See who they are in this News21 report, which warns that much of the money at other places doesn’t reach veterans. Best advice: know where your money is going.

Lack Of Data May Put The G.I. Bill At Risk, News21 Investigation Reveals

The federal government has yet to document how many students on the Post-9/11 GI Bill have graduated, or even if they stayed in school. Tom Harkin’s Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions questions whether or not veterans attending for-profit schools were benefiting from the education or being used to meet certain federal funding requirements. A committee led by Sen. Tom Harkin has looked into the problem.

VA and Defense Department Hope Electronic Records System Moves Cases Faster

The Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense spent at least $1.3 billion during the last four years trying unsuccessfully to develop a single electronic health-records system between the two departments — leaving veterans’ disability claims to continue piling up in paper files across the country, a News21 investigation shows. This does not include billions of other dollars wasted during the last three decades, including $2 billion spent on a failed upgrade to the DOD’s existing electronic health-records system. For a veteran in the disability claims process, these records are critical: They include DOD service and health records needed by the VA to decide veterans’ disability ratings and the compensation they will receive for their injuries. Stacks of paper files — including veterans’ evidence from DOD of their military service and injuries — sit at VA regional offices waiting to be processed instead of being readily accessible in electronic files. Although Congress repeatedly has demanded an “integrated” and “interoperable” electronic health-records system, neither the DOD nor the VA is able to completely access the other’s electronic records.