VA Secretary Expresses ‘Regret’ in Comparing the VA to Disneyland

Wait times have been and still are a huge issue at Veterans Affairs Hospitals and do measure the success of this particular institution, for without prompt service, men and women can die.

Yet Secretary of Veteran Affairs, Robert McDonald begs to differ, comparing happy patrons at Disneyland, waiting in line for It’s a Small World, to injured vets desperate to be seen by a doctor at their local VA.

“When you got to Disney, do they measure the number of hours you wait in line? Or what’s important? What’s important is, what’s your satisfaction with the experience?” McDonald said Monday during a Christian Science Monitor breakfast with reporters. “And what I would like to move to, eventually, is that kind of measure.”

Truth and Action shared, “Attorney General Eric Holder said Tuesday that the Department of Justice doesn’t have any plans to investigate allegations that veterans placed on secret waiting lists at VA hospitals died while waiting for care.

“Well, obviously these reports if they’re true are unacceptable, and the allegations are being taken very seriously by the administration. But I don’t have any announcements at this time with regard to anything that the Justice Department is doing,” Holder told reporters at a press conference.

“This is something on our radar screen at this point, but there is an investigation being done by the [VA] inspector general, and we’ll see what happens as a result of that inquiry and other information that comes to light in some form or fashion,” Holder added.

According to CNN, at least 40 veterans died while waiting for treatment at one VA hospital in Phoenix. Members of Congress have said in recent weeks that the inspector general investigation is inadequate and have called on the DOJ to launch its own investigation.”

After such an insane statement,  Speaker of the House Paul Ryan tweeted angrily:

This is not make-believe, Mr. Secretary. Veterans have died waiting in those lines.

McDonald said that “he did not believe a measure called the “create date,” which gauges a veteran’s wait time by counting from the day the veteran first requests care, was a “valid measure” of a veteran’s VA experience.”

The Government Accountability Office released a report in April exploring the metric used to count a veterans’ wait time, called the “preferred date.” The measure does not count from the time a veteran first calls to make an appointment.

What McDonald “believes” and what the reality is are not interchangeable.  The proof has been demonstrated in places like Phoenix and Chicago, where secret wait lists have resulted in the deaths of vets.

The Hines VA hospital in Chicago has multiple secret waiting lists to hide delays in patient care for our veterans.

We’ve already seen this happen in Phoenix, where upwards of 40 veterans died due to the wait times, now a whistleblower has come forward in Chicago.

VA executives get bonuses based on short wait times, so they commit this fraud, which is literally killing our veterans, reported Truth and Action.

With all the backlash, McDonald now expresses regret over making the comparison:
Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald says he “deeply regrets” comparing wait times atVA hospitals and facilities to lines at Disney parks.

“At VA we take our mission of caring for those who ‘shall have borne the battle’ very seriously; we have the best and most noble mission in government,” McDonald said in the statement, released a day after the remarks.

“If my comments Monday led any Veterans to believe that I, or the dedicated workforce I am privileged to lead, don’t take that noble mission seriously, I deeply regret that. Nothing could be further from the truth.”

At a Christian Science Monitor breakfast in Washington on Tuesday, McDonald was speaking about veterans’ satisfaction when he made the controversial comparison.

“When you go to Disney, do they measure the number of hours you wait in line?” he asked. “What’s important? What’s important is: What’s your satisfaction with the experience?”

Photo: Stripes






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