Those that pay attention to such things know that government has no conscience. Government is made up of bureaucrats, functionaries and toadies, many of who are dedicated to one thing: maintaining and increasing their power, benefits, and abilities to harm others. Of course, not all federal employees are soulless, vindictive, blood-sucking, irredeemably evil parasites, though under the Obama Administration, their numbers, and sense of superiority and entitlement have reached new highs/lows. Fortunately, every now and then, one of them crawls out from under their rock and exposes their true nature. Via Fox News:
Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald is scrambling to calm a growing bipartisan firestorm after downplaying veteran wait times at VA hospitals by comparing them to wait times for rides at Disney theme parks.
What, exactly did the soulless Obamite toady say? The Hill reports:
Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Robert McDonald on Monday ignited a political firestorm when he downplayed the wait times for veterans at clinics by likening it to lines at Disneyland.
‘The days to an appointment is really not what we should be measuring. What we should be measuring is the veteran’s satisfaction,’ McDonald told reporters at a Christian Science Monitor media breakfast.
‘What really counts is how does the veteran feel about their encounter with the VA,’ he said.
‘When you go to Disney, do they measure the number of hours you wait in line?’ he asked. ‘What’s important is what’s your satisfaction with the experience.
‘And that’s really the kind of measure I want to move to,’ he added.
Hmm. Don’t you actually have to see a doctor at some point to have an “experience” about which you might be satisfied? I’ll comment a bit later. Let’s see what others have to say about this incredibly stupid, but revealing, gaffe (remember: a gaffe occurs when a politician or bureaucrat accidently says what they really mean or accidently tells the truth). Fox News again:
McDonald made the comments Monday morning, and faced a backlash from Capitol Hill almost immediately. Perhaps the toughest condemnation came from Illinois Rep. Tammy Duckworth, a Democrat and Iraq war veteran who lost her legs in Iraq and still receives health care at a VA hospital.
‘Comparing abhorrent wait times to a trip to Disneyland is unbelievably tone-deaf and hurtful to American heroes desperately in need of care,’ she said in a statement. Duckworth, who is running for Senate, said McDonald ‘needs to comprehensively address the VA’s systemic problems — and that means reducing wait times, improving care and increasing patient satisfaction.’
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., top Democrat on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, also said he was ‘troubled’ by the secretary’s comments and wants to speak with him.
I rather suspect there are a great many veterans, and their survivors, who would like a chance to “speak” with McDonald, in a very close and personal way, a way that would ensure he became “troubled.”
Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., chairman of that committee, said in a statement he was ‘extremely disappointed in Secretary McDonald’s comparison of the deadly VA wait-time scandal to long lines at an amusement park.’
Even Disney pushed back on the secretary’s comments. A Disney Theme Parks representative told Independent Journal Review that they do in fact ‘take wait times very seriously’ at their parks, and, ‘A large team of highly trained industrial engineers are tasked with improving our guest’s experiences, from transportation, to guest flow, to ride comfort and certainly wait times.
One would expect just that. Disney has to compete in the free market. The VA is a government monopoly, and an increasingly arrogant, evil and deadly monopoly. The VA, in full damage control mode, issued this statement:
This is a solemn duty that we take seriously. We know that Veterans are still waiting too long for care. In our effort to determine how we can better meet Veterans’ needs, knowing that their satisfaction is our most important measure, we have heard them tell us that wait times alone are not the only indication of their experience with VA and that’s why we must transform the way we do business.’
The VA went on to acknowledge that inaccurate figures can cause ‘unintended consequences and confusion’ like the flawed and erroneous bookkeeping that was exposed in 2014. That year, reports broke that dozens of patients died while waiting for care and that VA employees at some locations made secret lists to hide long wait times. McDonald took over when his predecessor, Eric Shinseki, was forced out.
It would be easy indeed to simply trash McDonald, but he is merely another Obama appointee who, by virtue of his apparently natural disposition, was appointed to a high post in an administration obsessed with deception, concealment, destruction of evidence, and pursuing a Progressive agenda even at the cost of innumerable human lives. He is no less execrable than the IRS Commissioner, the head of the EPA, HUD, or any other Obamite alphabet bureau or agency.
Government has no conscience, so it was perfectly natural for McDonald to compare veterans, the few that have written a check to America in any amount up to and including their lives, to people waiting in lines to participate in amusement park frolics. As Americans have learned due to Obamacare, health insurance does not equate to health care, and health care delayed may be translated to funerals. McDonald is probably still dumbfounded, trying to figure out what all the fuss is about. He and people like him, after all, do not spend their days worrying about individual veterans or their obligations to them.
Waits of days, weeks, even months for VA services are waits often abided in pain, suffering, even death. People struggling to attain some degree of health are people unable to function in life, people who are of little good to themselves or others, people–veterans—waiting at the behest of people who could care less about their suffering, for a chance to have productive lives.
Without question, McDonald should be shamed wherever he goes. Good, caring people should never fail to remind him of his despicable failings. Unfortunately, absent two major reforms, even firing McDonald will make no difference; he’d merely be replaced by someone no better, and potentially worse.
The reforms: election of the right kind of president, and wholesale reform of Federal civil service regulations, making it possible to fire the vicious, incompetent and hateful while upholding everyone’s civil rights. Unfortunately, that would require a non-corrupt Congress. I won’t hold my breath. Neither should the veterans on VA waiting lists; that would be goofy.