VA Secretary McDonald- He Can’t Be THAT Stupid?

 In Veterans

I’m going to go out on a limb here and defend Bob McDonald, the current Secretary of Veterans Affairs. My defense? McDonald can’t possibly be as stupid as he sounds. McDonald is a retired Chairman, President and CEO of Proctor & Gamble.

Did he fall off a turnip truck?

He certainly didn’t a achieve those lofty positions by making comments that would lead one to believe he had recently hit his head after falling off the proverbial turnip truck.

Yet, here we are with McDonald winning the prize for the stupidest comment by a federal government official. (Keep in mind, with the current crop of federal officials, winning that prize is no easy task.)

Yet according to MilitaryTimes, McDonald said,

“What really counts is how does the veteran feel about their encounter with the VA. When you go to Disney, do they measure the number of hours you wait in line? What’s important is what your satisfaction is with the experience. What I would like to move to eventually is that kind of measure.”

Disney? Seriously?

Aside from the fact that Disney DOES measure wait times, and tries to reduce them, did it ever occur to McDonald that extended wait times equate to an unsatisfactory experience? Or the fact that if the wait time is long enough, there IS NO experience?

McDonald says he would like to use a veteran’s satisfaction with the experience of visiting a VA facility as the measure of care competency. Apparently he expects high marks from a veteran who has to wait only months instead of years, or only weeks instead of months to receive care.

I can just picture the survey questions –

  • 1-How long was your wait time?
  •  a-More than one month
  •  b-Less than one month
  • c- Less than one week (please verify that you are responding to a question about a VA facility)
  • 2- How satisfied were you with your waiting time?
  • a-Very satisfied
  • b-Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
  • c-Dissatisfied
  • d- If you died while waiting, please skip this question
  • 3-How satisfied were you with your overall experience?
  • a-very satisfied
  • b- neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
  • c- Dissatisfied
  • d- Don’t know, still waiting

Irrespective of a veteran’s satisfaction or dissatisfaction, with the amount of time he or she had to wait to be seen, McDonald’s comparing wait times at an amusement park to wait times for medical care is absurd.

Not Inconvenient… Life-threatening

Waiting an extended period for a journey through Fantasyland or on a themed roller coaster is an inconvenience; waiting an extended period for medical care is potentially life threatening. Secondly, McDonald is comparing Disney’s time, which is measured in minutes or hours, to the VA wait times, which are measured in weeks or months.

Out of touch

As officials of Concerned Veterans for America stated,

“To compare veterans’ experiences waiting weeks and months for care to tourists waiting in line to see Mickey Mouse demonstrates just how out of touch the secretary is with the struggles many veterans deal with while waiting for care at the VA.”

It would seem that Secretary McDonald has missed his calling. He should resign his current position and apply for a job at Disney World; there’s an opening for someone to greet park visitors.

Posing as Goofy.

 

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