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Continuing VA Saga

by Administrator on May 22, 2013

A couple of posts back, I shared a letter I had sent to Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida.  Variants of the same letter my other Florida Senator, Marco Rubio, and to the POTUS.  I have yet to hear back from those folks, but I was kind of disappointed in the Nelson response this week.

A bit of background.

Once upon a time, I worked in a Florida Senator’s office as an intern.  It was a college gig and taught me many valuable lessons.  My main job was to read incoming constituent mail, then complete a form that would drive a computerized response.

Basically, I dissected what the sender was saying, then looked through a binder of predefined paragraphs organized by topic, selecting the ones that were responsive to each of the constituent’s questions or observations.  I used a form to write down a code numbers corresponding to each selected paragraph, then stapled or paper-clipped the form to the mail and put it in the out box.  At some point, the out box contents were sent down to a mail assembly room where each coded response was inserted into a document printer, the letter was printed, and the Senator’s signature was “franked” onto the doc before it was put in an envelope and sent out to the constituent.

Bottom line:  I know how most constituent mail is processed by Congressional offices, and I was not really so naive as to believe that a busy Senator or his legislative aids were going to take my mail seriously.  Still, there was nothing in the mail that suggested that Senator Nelson was even interested in what we were proposing.  Instead, I got a list of legislation that he had proposed to work the problem and a motherhood consideration or two about veterans and what we owe them.

I guess I was simply handled by an intern.

I will be interested to see whether Mr. Rubio or Mr. Obama, or their staff, provide a more engaging response.  I am not holding my breath.  Last I heard, the government is planning to spend several more billion on the problem — the current billions having failed to do much at all about the healthcare claims backlog.

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