Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS)


Liberal Studies

First Advisor

Kevan Bowler

Second Advisor

Ron Seyb


When the scandal at the Phoenix Veterans Health Administration facilities came to light in 2014, it exposed systemic problems throughout the VHS, some of which had existed for long periods of time and some more recent. This essay explores why the VHA was ill- equipped to handle effectively the challenges in veterans’ health presented by Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, both of which were much more protracted than initially expected. Both conflicts generated more veterans with more challenges than anticipated by the U.S. government. The Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014, an example of motivated b-partisan negotiation and work, was designed to address the flaws exposed by the Phoenix scandal and this paper describes the lead-up to the signing of this act as well as its potential for success.