Hillary Clinton Claims GOP Wants Veterans Affairs Department to Fail

Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

On Friday, Hillary Clinton, denying reality once again, claimed that the Veterans Affairs scandals plaguing the Department of Veterans Affairs have been blown out of proportion by Republicans who want the department to fail.

Clinton, appearing on the Rachel Maddow Show, admitted that the problem has “not been as widespread as it has been made out to be,” adding, “Now nobody would believe that from the coverage you see, and the constant berating of the VA that comes from the Republicans, in – in part in pursuit of this ideological agenda that they have. They try to create a downward spiral, don’t fund it to the extent that it needs to be funded, because they want it to fail, so then we can argue for privatization.”

Incredibly, Clinton insisted, “I don’t understand why we have such a problem, because there have been a number of surveys of veterans, and, overall, veterans who do get treated are satisfied with their treatment.”

Now for some facts:

  1. A Veterans Affairs inspector general examination of the Phoenix facility revealed veterans had waited an average of 115 days for their first doctor’s appointment, while official records claimed the wait was 24 days;
  2. 1,700 veterans were kept off of official patient rolls.
  3. AP reported in June 2015 that 35 veterans in the Phoenix area, whose names were kept off an official electronic Veterans Affairs appointment list, had died.
  4. CNN reported in June 2014 that 57,436 newly-enrolled veterans faced a minimum 90-day wait for medical care. 63,869 veterans, who had enrolled over the past decade, asked for an appointment that never eventuated.

On October 1, Democrats in the Senate blocked a bill that would have funded veterans’ benefits, holding it hostage until the GOP agreed to attach the veterans’ funding to a repeal of budget caps on other federal operations.