At the NBC Commander-in-Chief Forum, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump promised to fix wait times at the Veterans Administration hospitals and blasted his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, for her statements about medical treatment for veterans.
“One of the big problems is the wait time,” Trump told a questioner from the audience, who was in the Army reserves and served ten months in Iraq.
“Vets are waiting six days, seven days, eight days. And by the way, Hillary Clinton six months ago said the vets are being treated essentially just fine, there’s no real problem, it’s over-exaggerated. She did say that,” Trump added.
Forum host Matt Lauer interrupted Trump in an attempt to defend Clinton’s record.
“No, no, she went on after that and laid out a litany of problems within the V.A.,” Lauer protested.
“Look, I mean, she made up half of the things she said about me. I’m telling you, this is — she said she was satisfied with what was going on in the Veterans Administration,” Trump responded, rolling over Lauer’s interruption.
“Now, under my plan, if you’ve got to wait — and, by the way, people are dying on line. They’re dying, waiting, waiting to get to see a doctor. They’re waiting five days and six days. Under a part of my plan, if they have that long wait, they walk outside, they go to the local doctor, they choose the doctor, they choose the hospital, whether it’s public or private, they get themselves better,” Trump said.
“In many cases, it’s a minor procedure or a pill or just a prescription. And they end up dying because they can’t get to see the doctor. We will pay the bill. They go outside, they get a doctor, they get a prescription, they do what they have to do, and we pay the bill,” the GOP nominee added.
“By the way,” Trump noted, “I never said take the V.A. — take the Veterans Administration private. “I wouldn’t do that. Too much respect for our people. I would never do that,” he continued.
“I heard it was said that I said that. I would not do that. But I do believe — I do believe, when you’re waiting in line for six, seven days, you should never be in a position like that. You go out, you see the doctor, you get yourself taken care of,” Trump concluded.