The roots of the VA's reformation go back to 1994, when Bill Clinton appointed Kenneth Kizer, a hard-charging doctor and former Navy diver, as the VA's under secretary for health. Kizer decentralized the VA's cumbersome health bureaucracy and held regional managers more accountable. Patient records were transferred to a system-wide computer network, which has made its way into only 3% of private hospitals. When a veteran is treated, the doctor has the vet's complete medical history on a laptop. In the private sector, 20% of all lab tests are needlessly repeated because the doctor doesn't have handy the results of the same test performed earlier, according to a 2004 report by the President's information technology advisory committee. How VA Hospitals Became The Best - Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas So why did this work and why do Republicans say it doesn't work now? GOP Cut Funds For Veterans And Mental Health And Now We Have A Veteran Suicide Epidemic | Addicting Info | The Knowledge You Crave Republicans love to cut funding for Veterans. They have been doing it for years. That's the problem now. It's not that the care is bad, it's that it hasn't been funded. Typical of the GOP. But the other huge gain was the fact it was computerized. All of a sudden, you had a huge data base of patients. Age, weight, height, race, symptoms and so on. By keeping such meticulous records, you could see what therapies worked best. What medicines worked. The best treatments. In fact, if the VA was smart, they could rent out their data base to make hospitals and networks work better. The best thing Republican could do for veterans besides funding them, is update their computer system with modern technology. It's this kind of lasting systems put in place that made Bill Clinton a popular president.