Smart people sometimes say stupid things, really stupid things. In this CNN report, VA Secretary McDonald is found comparing wait times at VA Hospitals to those at Disneyland. According to Secretary McDonald, it’s the veteran’s overall “experience” that matters more than how long he or she waits for healthcare. This man was president of one of the largest corporations in our country. He is not dumb, presumably. He is, however, disconnected from the reality of what is actually happening at the government agency he heads. Or, worse, he does know what is happening and he actually believes the silliness he uttered. While hard to quantify, there is really no dispute that veterans have died because of the VA’s delays in providing medical care. We are not talking about a few isolated cases. Our firm has represented widows and family members in exactly this sort of situation – and done so more than a few times. We are just the tip of a much bigger iceberg. The delay problem is endemic throughout the VA healthcare system. It’s huge and has been going on a long time - and the Secretary should know it. In fact, when this scandal broke a couple of years ago Mr. McDonald was the one brought in to fix the problem. Supposedly, he had the business expertise to do so. Now, not only is the problem not getting fixed, but the “fixer” seems to be saying there really is not much of a problem after all. My father - God rest his soul - was a crusty old Navy guy who had more than a few pithy terms. I know exactly how he would have described Secretary McDonald’s comments: What-a-crock-of-s***. And it really is.
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