- Recently speaking at a Veterans of Foreign Wars hall in New Hampshire, Hillary Clinton provided insight into how she plans to reform the Department of Veterans Affairs.
- Although she promised to fight full privatization, Clinton said the government should be allowed to contract with private providers for various health services such as surgery, mental health, and substance abuse treatment and at times when the VA cannot deliver timely care. The VA physicians, she explained should coordinate healthcare and provide treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder and other conditions related to military service.
- Clinton added within the first month of taking office she would convene the Defense Secretary and VA Secretary for regular meetings and, according to The Washington Post, there would be "zero tolerance" for abuses and delays.
"These problems are serious, systemic, and unacceptable. They need to be fixed and they need to be fixed right now. Privatization is a betrayal, plain and simple, and I am not going to let it happen," Clinton said at a campaign event, as reported by Reuters and The Washington Post.
However, Clinton said in an interview with MSNBC last month the VA scandal was not "as widespread" as suggested and accused Republications of politicizing the agency.
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) responded in a statement, "For her to accuse me and my Republican colleagues of wanting to 'privatize' the VA, is, of course, inaccurate and offensive," reported The Washington Post. Sen. McCain also urged Clinton to apologize, saying she "lacked an appreciation for the crisis facing veterans' healthcare."