John McCain continues his push to have retiring Sen. Tom Coburn replace Gen. Eric Shinseki as head of the Veterans Administration.
June 1, 2014

Old Speed-Dial McCain was back on CBS' Face the Nation this Sunday, continuing his calls to privatize the VA, and for retiring Sen. Tom Coburn to replace Eric Shinseki as VA secretary.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Let's talk about the Veteran's Administration and the scandal over there, which was what we had planned for this broadcast this morning until this big story happened yesterday. So Secretary Shinseki has resigned. But it seems to me there's still a lot of problems to be solved there.

JOHN MCCAIN: General Shinseki is a great man, a fine patriot who served his country and left part of himself on the field of battle. And I was reluctant to call for his resignation. But it's the fact that they've lost the confidence of the veterans. That's the key to this. And it's unbelievable that for three weeks, the president of the United States never said a word about it.

And it's not just a scheduling problem in the V.A. It is as in the words of the inspector general, a "systemic problem." And one of the keys to solving this problem, as I campaigned, if I might say, is to give the veteran the flexibility to get the care that he or she needs at the closest and most available place.

There are V.A. facilities that are unique and wonderful, traumatic brain injury, P.T.S.D., prosthesis, war wounds, and they're the best at it. But why should a veteran have to get into a van and ride three hours to get to Phoenix in order to have routine medical care taken care of? Why doesn't that veteran have a card and go to the caregiver that he or she needs and wants?

And that's the solution to this problem, this flexibility to the veteran to choose their healthcare, just like other people under other healthcare plans are able to do. And this is a situation that the president needs to call together the best people he can find. Ask General Petraeus. I'd ask Tom Coburn.

If there's anybody in Congress that knows more about healthcare, then Tom Coburn should be the next secretary of the Veteran's Administration in my view. Call them together and say, "In two weeks, I want you to tell the American people what we need to do to fix this." We can do that. Instead, the president seems to be blaming it on a scheduling problem.

Sorry McCain, but I don't consider someone who gladly spews Frank Luntz's talking points, claims that the ACA has "Sovietized" American medicine, or who goes on the air and lies about Medicare cuts an "expert" on healthcare.


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