Outrageous 6 Months Since VA Scandal Broke and 'Nothing Has Changed'
It's been six months since President Obama vowed there would be major changes to the Department of Veterans Affairs.
A new VA Secretary is on the job and has said he plans to fire up to 1,000 people in the agency and hire nearly 30,000 medical professionals.
But Pete Hegseth, CEO of Concerned Veterans for America, explained this morning that when it comes to long wait times for a doctor's appointment, nothing has changed.
Hegseth said based on the veterans he has talked to, there are only "rhetorical changes" happening.
"If you live in Jacksonville, Florida, you're waiting 77 days for a primary care appointment," he said, explaining that he means routine "I feel sick" visits, not a specialty surgery.
"For the listening public, that's a mind-blowing number. If you live in Westmoreland, Pennsylvania, you're waiting six months for a specialty care appointment. These are numbers of what government-run, single payer, top-down health care gives you. You will accept the appointment when we give it to you, no other options."
Hegseth also disputed that the VA will actually be getting rid of those 1,000 employees, saying VA Secretary Bob McDonald admitted that he probably can only fire about 35. Most of the others will be disciplined, Hegseth noted, meaning they could just be shuffled to a different, well-paid job.
He pointed out that there's been no real accountability, with only two people fired. The head of the Phoenix VA, where the whole scandal started earlier this year, is still on paid administrative leave.
"No justice, no accountability for someone who was hiding wait times and veterans died while they waited on that list," said Hegseth.
The lack of progress was called out in a USA Today report a few days ago, which stated that more than 600,000 veterans continue to wait a month or more for appointments.
Hegseth lamented the last figure, which means that combat veterans dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder could be without care for two months, putting them at risk of suicide.
"This is a bureaucracy. We're nameless. We are numbers. It's not about a shortage of doctors. There's plenty of doctors. The VA doesn't track how many doctors they have in many place, a new story just came out. This is not about doctors. This is about efficiency and incentive, which is why government-run health care does not work," he said.
Watch the full interview above.