(Lafayette, LA) – Dr. Charles Boustany issued the following statement after media outlets reported that Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Robert McDonald compared veterans’ wait times seeking much-needed healthcare to a trip to Disneyland.
McDonald said: “The days to an appointment is really not what we should be measuring, we should be measuring the veterans’ satisfaction. When you go to Disney, do they measure the number of hours you wait in line? What’s important?”
Boustany said: “Secretary McDonald’s comments trivializing the struggle of Louisiana’s veterans to get even basic care from the VA showcases everything that’s wrong with the agency. Secretary McDonald has been charged with the health and well-being of the men and women who return home from serving our country in combat. The Secretary’s contemptuous comments are disgraceful, and he should apologize to our veterans immediately.”
In Congress, Dr. Charles Boustany has led the charge to increase access to care for Louisiana’s veterans. In 2014, Boustany passed legislation winning authorization for two new veterans’ healthcare clinics in Lafayette and Lake Charles. Additionally, Boustany was a main proponent of the Veterans’ Choice Program created in 2014, which allows veterans to seek care from private healthcare providers in their communities. Boustany has introduced legislation expanding the Veterans’ Choice Program for veterans in communities that are under-served by the VA, like Lafayette and Lake Charles. He has continued to keep pressure on the VA to keep its promise to Louisiana’s veterans and complete clinics in Lafayette and Lake Charles as soon as possible.