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No Sec. McDonald, VA Wait Lists Don’t Compare to Disney World

By Emilye Bell

No Sec. McDonald, VA Wait Lists Don’t Compare to Disney World

On the list of analogies one might use to discuss the VA health care system, a theme park is not one that would immediately come to mind for most people. However, VA Secretary Bob McDonald seems to think that VA health care is comparable to a trip to Disneyland.

In his remarks at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast this morning, the Secretary said he did not think that standard veteran wait times were a proper measure of success. Rather, he believes that the actual experience that the veteran gets once they do receive care should be how success is measured, much like a theme park.

“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?”

First, Secretary McDonald should consider mustering an ounce of respect for veterans who are waiting to see a doctor by not comparing their wait times to the lines at Splash Mountain. The sacrifice that accompanies earning that care is not the same as the sacrifice of taking a road trip to Florida. Shame on Bob McDonald for trivializing veteran wait times this way.

Second, nobody is dying in line at Disney. Yes, the VA should be providing amazing care for the veteran when he is seen by a doctor, and the quality of that care is one metric for gauging VA success. However amazing care means nothing when the veteran died while waiting months to get an appointment.

This is not a joke, Secretary McDonald. Veterans receiving health care they earned and often desperately need is not the same thing as visiting a theme park.

This is just another example of how out of touch the Department of Veterans Affairs is with the men and women they should be serving. Rather than putting veterans first, Washington bureaucrats ignore the nationwide wait times and continue the mantra “everything is fine, veterans aren’t even waiting that long.” Tell that to those who have died on a wait list.