Veterans Affairs secretary: ‘When you go to Disney, do they measure the number of hours you wait in line or what’s important?’
Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald Monday apparently downplayed the severity of the wait-list scandals that have plagued the department, left veterans without timely care and, in some cases, been the difference between life and death – a metric, the secretary implied, that should be trashed altogether.
“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.”
McDonald’s comments angered House Speaker Paul Ryan, who tweeted out Monday afternoon, “This is not make-believe, Mr. Secretary. Veterans have died waiting in those lines.”
McDonald faced questions at the breakfast about the VA’s lack of transparency surrounding how long veterans must wait to receive care at VA facilities around the country. The agency has weathered controversy over the past several years due to its struggle to provide timely care for many patients.
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