Senator Calls on VA Secretary to Resign Over Disneyland Comparison
The Veterans Affairs Department (VA) has had many problems in recent years, however this statement by Secretary Bob McDonald appears to be “the straw that broke the camel’s back.” As an experienced veteran’s disability attorney practicing throughout the United States, I am appalled by Secretary McDonald’s statement comparing VA wait times for health care treatment to waiting in long lines for a Disney ride.
McDonald, the former CEO of Procter & Gamble, has served as the head of the VA since 2014. He took over after his predecessor, Secretary Eric Shinseki, resigned that year over the scandal that plagued the department with wait times that reportedly left as many as 40 people dead at a Phoenix VA hospital.
If Secretary McDonald’s stated goal for the VA is “veteran satisfaction” with their VA experience, like visiting Disney, I am certain he is falling far short. Secretary McDonald is failing our veterans at many levels including the wait time for doctor visits and appeals. There is much discussion among House leaders for the resignation of Secretary McDonald. Will Secretary McDonald’s apology to veterans for his comments be accepted or will his disconnect add fuel to the fire? “If my comments Monday led any Veterans to believe that I, or the dedicated workforce I am privileged to lead, don’t take that noble mission seriously, I deeply regret that. Nothing could be further from the truth,” McDonald said in a statement. “It was never my intention to suggest that I don’t take our mission of serving veterans very seriously.” McDonald compared the long waits for veterans seeking care to Disney lines Monday, at a breakfast hosted by The Christian Science Monitor.
Services for our Veterans need to be an experience our Nation can be proud of. Our veterans certainly deserve no less and so much more.