VA Hospitals aren’t Disneyland

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Today, Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald uttered what may be the dumbest words said by someone in the federal government until the next time Vice President Joe Biden steps in front of a camera.

VA Hospitals aren't Disneyland

Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald

At a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor, McDonald said:

“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.”

It should be obvious: VA Hospitals aren’t Disneyland. Veterans don’t go to Disneyland for (hopefully) lifesaving medical care.

If you have to wait a long time to get on Splash Mountain, the end result isn’t death.

That was this morning. This afternoon it got better. (And by “better,” I mean “worse.”)

Instead of apologizing for his boneheaded comparison, McDonald’s agency released an anonymous press release blaming the long and fraudulent wait times for veterans seeking care at VA Hospitals on a bad computer program.

That’s not what whistleblowers  were saying as recently as March.

If Disneyland was as incompetently run as the VA hospital system, you can bet that more than zero people would’ve been fired too. (We’ll see if the bureaucracy continues to protect its own in these three cases.)

The sad fact is that we’ve known for more than two years that there is a serious problem at many hospitals run by the Department of Veterans Affairs, and all indications are that nothing has been done.

If McDonald thinks that VA Hospitals are an amusement park and that timely care is of little import, then he should find another job.

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