Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) left many confused after she claimed that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) didn’t need to be fixed because it already provides quality health care services to veterans in the United States.
During a town hall in her home district, Ocasio-Cortez had only kind words for the health care services at the VA. She claimed that those who want to “fix” the VA are only looking to benefit pharmaceutical companies, not veterans.
Watch the video below:
“There are some things that we are hearing today. There are some themes that we’ve got coming out, especially when it comes to the VA. All I can think of is that classic refrain that my parents always told me growing up, which is that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
She claimed that calls to privatize the VA aren’t in the best interest of veterans because they already receive “some of the highest quality care” and they don’t need the system to be “optimized” or “tinkered with.”
“Who are they trying to fix it for is the question we’ve got to ask,” she said. “They’re trying to fix the VA for pharmaceutical companies, they’re trying to fix the VA for insurance corporations, and ultimately, they’re trying to fix the VA for a for-profit health care industry that does not put people or veterans first.”
Many people had a problem with Ocasio-Cortez’s assertion that the VA provided quality care because, as IJR previously reported, that is often not the case.
Several took to Twitter to question her statement, providing examples of some of the horror stories that have come out of the VA health care system.
Veterans have literally died waiting to get health care treatment from the VA….died! https://t.co/SRTvpfAqQt
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) April 22, 2019
— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) April 22, 2019
I know @AOC doesn’t like taking advice from people, as she seems to have all the answers, but goodness, she should spend a little less time clapping back on Twitter and a little more time talking to veterans and families of vets who are no longer here because of VA dysfunction.
— Abby Huntsman (@HuntsmanAbby) April 23, 2019
Comrade @AOC knows nothing about the VA. Defends system failing vets every single day.
Just another hack politician echoing what the government unions want her to say.
The “woman of the people” should try VA healthcare. But she won’t, because she’s a fraud. https://t.co/mJBE3KUa5L
— Pete Hegseth (@PeteHegseth) April 23, 2019
Former combat veteran Sean Parnell — who received two Bronze Star Medals for his heroic efforts in the Middle East — suggested that members of Congress start exclusively receiving treatment in the VA so they get their minds around the subpar care many veterans receive.
.@AOC & every politician should have to get their healthcare from the #VA. All the healthcare issues that veterans face today…calcified bureaucracy, secret wait lists, minimal continuity of care…would be fixed in a week if they did.
In fact, let’s put it up for vote! https://t.co/YdxzHpyPvc
— Sean Parnell (@SeanParnellUSA) April 23, 2019
“Fox & Friends” host Pete Hegseth, who also served in the Middle East, unloaded on Ocasio-Cortez, calling her a “mindless moron” for her claims about the VA. He also noted that he tried to cover Ocasio-Cortez’s town hall but was barred from entering, as IJR previously reported.
“She is a moron, I’m going to say it. No, especially on this issue, she is a mindless moron who knows nothing of this topic, goes in front of government union groups, and says if it’s not broken, don’t fix it. She doesn’t know what she’s talking about.”
Ocasio-Cortez has been an outspoken proponent of socialized medicine in the United States, specifically calling for “Medicare for All.”