The United States would not be able to care for its millions of veterans if it becomes a socialist country, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) secretary cautioned Breitbart News at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Saturday.
Asked to make the case against socialism during an edition of Breitbart News Saturday, airing on SiriusXM 125, at the 2020 CPAC event, VA Secretary Robert Wilkie warned host and Washington Political Editor Matthew Boyle:
“If America were suddenly to descend into a socialists State, that promise [to take care of our veterans’ that [Abraham] Lincoln made [when he created the department] 150 years ago is wiped out. There’s no longer any care for veterans. … An incredibly high percentage of our warriors are with missing limbs.”
Under President Donald Trump, the VA is providing care for those veterans with special needs, Wilkie said.
“If socialism became the coin of the realm, that would be gone,” Wilkie stressed. “That would be gone, and that place that was promised for warriors would disappear. So that is my great concern as the person who is very fortunate and honored to be the head of America’s second-largest department. Only DOD [U.S. Department of Defense] is bigger. We care for nine and a half million veterans over 170 hospitals. That care would disappear.”
According to the VA website, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is the “largest integrated health care system in the United States, serving millions of vets who fought to keep America safe. Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), the front-runner for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, has railed against the current health system in the United States while leading the charge for his “Medical for All” proposal.
The Trump administration is helping veterans who return home from war deal with PTSD, mental health issues, and brain injuries.
“We have expanded our responsibilities to even those who in the past would not have received that care because they were other than honorably discharged,” the VA secretary pointed out.
“We have same day services. We are specialists because we’re right at the hip with the Department of Defense in those traumatic brain injuries,” he added. “This is another reason socialism would wipe this out.”
Wilkie attributes improvements at the VA to President Trump’s embrace of free-market values.
“The president, of course, being an entrepreneur, being someone who believes in the market, has brought those principles to us, and we’re in a much better place than we have been in decades at the VA,” he said.
VA is helping vets find jobs, learn a trade skill, and obtain an education at an institution of higher learning.
“So the Trump economy, we have the lowest veterans unemployment rate in our history,” he conceded, noting that Trump has unleashed America’s economic power.