Not one to shy away from controversy, U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrat – New York, made some shocking remarks at a town hall in New York City last week.
According to The Daily Wire, the progressive liberal claimed the flawed healthcare system at the Department of Veterans Affairs provides “Cadillac first-class health care” to America’s brave veterans.
Ocasio-Cortez’s comments didn’t sit well with “The View” co-host Meghan McCain, who is the daughter of the late Senator John McCain.
At the town hall, the leftist Representative bragged about the current VA healthcare system.
She confidently said, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Explaining, Ocasio-Cortez stated, “The idea that this thing that isn’t broken, this thing that provides the highest quality care to our veterans somehow needs to be fixed, optimized, tinkered with until you don’t even recognize it anymore.”
The freshman Representative added, “Here’s the thing, they are trying to fix it, but who are they trying to fix it for is the question we’ve got to ask. They’re trying to fix the VA for pharmaceutical companies, they’re trying to fix the VA for insurance corporations, and ultimately they’re trying to fix the VA for a for-profit healthcare industry that does not put people or veterans first.”
While many would argue the VA healthcare system is severely flawed, they might agree with Ocasio-Cortez’s statement that “We have a responsibility to protect it, because if it is any community that deserves Cadillac first-class healthcare in the United States of America it is our military service members.”
McCain, whose late father was a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War, lambasted Ocasio-Cortez’s remarks regarding the VA healthcare system not being broken.
In a tweet on April 22, 2019, “TheView” co-host said, “Veterans have literally died waiting to get health care treatment from the VA….died!”
Sadly, McCain’s claim is correct.
A report issued in March of 2014 revealed that former Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki quit his post due to a continuing controversy surrounding veterans’ healthcare.
TheBlaze reported that “The Department of Veterans Affairs’ inspector general conducted an investigation into the department.
The report revealed that veterans were being made to wait on average 115 days for a first-time appointment at a Phoenix care center. VA officials purportedly falsified records to conceal the fact that veterans had to wait so long for appointments.”
Tragically, at least 35 veterans needing healthcare at the Phoenix facility died before they could receive treatment.
Unfortunately, what occurred at the Phoenix location wasn’t an isolated incident. Another report was released in 2015.
Allegedly, even after Shinseki quit, at least one out of every 36 veterans were forced to wait an average of 30 days for an appointment across the country. According to TheBlaze, “A startling 232,000 veterans were forced to wait more than 60 days to be seen.”
A third report released just last year uncovered “critical deficiencies” that were occurring at the Washington D.C. Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
These deficiencies included “excessive vacancies in leadership positions,” a shortage of supplies, a “lack of consistently clean storage areas for medical supplies and equipment,” “chronic staffing shortages,” and more.
This damning report also noted the medical center’s problems included “delays or postponements of procedures due to unavailable usable instruments.” It mentioned that on some occasions, veterans were forced to “wait months for needed items.”
President Donald J. Trump fired Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, an Obama administration holdover, 13 months ago.
The position is currently filled by Acting Secretary Robert Wilkie. At the time of Shulkin’s ousting, The Washington Times noted that the VA healthcare system “has been beset by complaints of retaliation against whistleblowers, a scandal involving overprescription of pain medication and the routine awarding of millions of dollars worth of employee bonuses funded by taxpayers.”
While Ocasio-Cortez definitively rejects the notion of privatizing the VA healthcare system, other members of Congress, like Representative Dan Crenshaw, Republican – Texas, enthusiastically support it. VA healthcare is personal to Crenshaw. The freshman Representative lost an eye while serving as a Navy Seal in Afghanistan.
During a recent event hosted by Concerned Veterans of America, Crenshaw stated, “There’s a knee jerk reaction in Washington when something isn’t perfect to just add more money, add more personnel, it’ll all be OK. That’s not true, especially with complex issues like veterans health care” according to the Military Times.
Regarding expanding healthcare alternatives for veterans, the Texas Representative remarked, “I need the VA to be flexible enough to send me outside for care. This is a step in the right direction.”