From his perch on the U.S. House Veterans Affairs Committee, U.S. Rep. Greg Steube, R-Fla., came out swinging at U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, for downplaying the need to reform the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
On Monday, the Washington Examiner reported Ocasio-Cortez weighed in on the VA during a town hall meeting.
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” Ocasio-Cortez said of the VA as she pushed back against calls to bring in more private sector solutions to its healthcare system.
“Here’s the thing, they are trying to fix it. But who are they are trying to fix it for, is the question we gotta ask,” she said. “They are trying to fix the VA for pharmaceutical companies, they are trying to fix the VA for insurance corporations, and, ultimately, they are trying to fix the VA for a for-profit healthcare industry that does not put people or veterans first.”
“It’s clear Representative Ocasio-Cortez has never dealt with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) or relied on them for care. If she had, she would know that their system is in dire need of reform. From veterans waiting 30-60 days for an appointment, suicide hotlines going to voicemail, to the rationing of medicine and vast cost overruns, this Department is failing on multiple fronts. To say that this is the level of care those who put their lives on the line to defend our nation deserve is frankly offensive,” Steube said on Tuesday.
“What’s worse, the VA is costing the American taxpayer billions of dollars each year, all while failing to provide basic services to our veterans. Since 2006, the VA budget has increased 175 percent—this year, they requested $198.6 billion in funding to provide sub-par care to only 1 percent of our country’s population. How’s that for needed reform?” he asked. “As a partially disabled veteran who deals with VA frequently, I know that this department is in need of serious reform. But, it doesn’t surprise me that Representative Ocasio-Cortez won’t admit it—she advocates for government run health care for all every day, so if she were to admit the failures of the only current system of government run health care, she would have to admit faults within her own plan.”
Steube is a former Army JAG and infantry officer who served in Iraq.
Kevin Derby can be reached at Kevin.Derby@floridadaily.com.