Washington (CNN)One of the first stories we covered on "The Lead," back in March 2013, was the backlog at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Since then, CNN broke the story of the VA scandal in 2014, we held the White House's feet to the fire on the issue, and we continue to follow up on stories about the VA system failing our veterans often with tragic results.
What would 2016 candidates do to fix the VA?
As part of our campaign coverage going forward, we will attempt to ask every presidential candidate specifically what he or she would do to improve the VA system, and put all their responses on this page.
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul said that he thinks most veterans like the quality of the care they receive, and that most of the issues come from the "distribution of the health care." He also wants veteran-specific health care institutions to "specialize in war injuries," and save more routine or general medical issues to be handled by "regular hospitals." He also said the solution does not include building new hospitals.
Both of former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum's parents worked for the VA, but he'd work toward a wholesale change of the VA model. Santorum supports moving general care of veterans into private hospitals and making VA hospitals focus on veteran-specific issues.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, is one of the few people running for president in 2016 who also has military experience. In an interview recorded for The Lead, the Air Force veteran said he would expand the veteran's "choice card" program, which is currently geared at veterans who live far from VA facilities. And he said he would shut down VA facilities that do not perform well.
Here's New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who says he has both short-term and long-term solutions, in an interview recorded for The Lead:
We started this series with the GOP front-runner, Donald Trump. This clip originally aired on State of the Union:
Here's Ohio Gov. John Kasich with a clip that originally aired on State of the Union: