Washington, DC — Iowa’s US Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst are criticizing the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, who compared wait times at V-A medical centers to lines at Disneyland.
Grassley says he met with Secretary Robert McDonald a few years ago before he was confirmed by the Senate for the post and thought he had a lot of promise, but Grassley says McDonald’s latest comment is “ridiculous.”
Disneyland is entertainment, Grassley says, while the V-A is where veterans go for life-saving health care. He adds, if customers aren’t satisfied with Disneyland, they can go elsewhere, but veterans have to rely on the V-A. Grassley says the V-A secretary sets the tone for the entire agency and “he should make amends.”
Grassley says, “It doesn’t show the proper respect for our military people.” Grassley says it’s “very troubling” that the agency’s top official is downplaying problems at the V-A after every scandal and problem there. Wait times at V-As are not improving, Grassley says, and a program is failing that was designed to help veterans who’ve waited longer than 30 days for treatment.
Iowa’s other U-S Senator, Joni Ernst, the first female combat veteran to serve in the U.S. Senate says that waiting to be seen at the VA for something as serious as life-threatening illnesses simply cannot be compared to waiting in line to visit the Magic Kingdom. She says she’s absolutely appalled by Secretary McDonalds’ “callous and completely out of touch comparison of the long VA wait times to lines at Disneyland.”