Tags: Hillary Clinton | John McCain | VA Scandal | Veterans | hillary | john mccain | va

John McCain Demands That Hillary Apologize for 'Downplaying' VA Scandal

Image: John McCain Demands That Hillary Apologize for 'Downplaying' VA Scandal
Hillary Clinton and John McCain (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

By    |   Tuesday, 27 Oct 2015 12:31 PM

Hillary Clinton is coming under fire for asserting the crisis in care for military veterans has been overblown by Republicans, drawing flak from advocacy groups and lawmakers, including Arizona Senator and Vietnam veteran John McCain.

"Hillary Clinton's remarks downplaying the significance of the scandal in which veterans died awaiting care at VA hospitals in Phoenix and across our nation while corrupt bureaucrats collected bonuses are disgraceful, and show a total lack of appreciation for the crisis facing veterans' health care today," McCain said in a statement.

In an interview Friday with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow about the patient-care and scheduling problems at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Clinton asserted surveys indicate veterans are happy with their care and that she believes the scandal has "not been as bad as it has been made out to be."

"I don't understand why we have such a problem," she said. "There have been a number of surveys of veterans, and overall, veterans who do get treated are satisfied with their treatment," Clinton says, adding:

"Nobody would believe that from the coverage that you see and the constant berating of the VA that comes from the Republicans, in part, in pursuit of this ideological agenda that they have."

McCain says Clinton "owes an apology to the families of the veterans who lost their loved ones due to mismanagement and corruption in the federal government."

Veterans groups also lashed out.

Paul Rieckhoff, founder and CEO of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, or IAVA, called her comments a "head-scratcher" firing off this response on Twitter.


And Concerned Veterans for America, a conservative veterans group that has called for the VA to begin offering subsidized private insurance to veterans, among other reforms, condemned Clinton's remarks as out-of-touch with veterans' needs.

"Hillary Clinton has shown that just like the Obama Administration, of which she was a part, she will minimize the deep-rooted problems within the Department of Veterans Affairs and engage in partisan attacks against those who propose real and fundamental reform," the organization's CEO Pete Hegseth said in a statement.

Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Florida, chairman of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, piled on as well, CNN reports.

"Whether it's continued delays in veterans' medical care, the blatant waste of billions of taxpayer dollars or a rampant lack of accountability throughout every corner of the organization, there is simply no denying that the problems at the Department of Veterans Affairs are indeed widespread," he said, adding that downplaying VA problems will only lead to more scandal.
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Hillary Clinton is coming under fire for asserting the crisis in care for military veterans has been overblown by Republicans, drawing flak from advocacy groups and lawmakers, including Arizona Senator and Vietnam veteran John McCain.
hillary, john mccain, va, veterans affairs
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2015-31-27
Tuesday, 27 Oct 2015 12:31 PM
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