RETRACTION: VA Wait Times Not Quite Like Disneyland

In this photo taken Feb. 25, 206, Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald speaks in Washington. Republicans are criticizing McDonald after he compared wait times to receive VA health care to the hours people wait for rides at Disney theme parks. McDonald has told reporters on Monday, May 23, 2016, that the VA should not use wait times as a measure of success because Disney doesn't either. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Here it is, VA Secretary Bob McDonald’s inevitable retraction — couched in language about being “misunderstood,” when everybody knows exactly what he said:


“If I was misunderstood, if I said the wrong thing, I’m glad that I have the opportunity to correct it,” he told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell. “I’m only focused on one thing, and that’s better caring for veterans. That’s my job, that’s why I’m here.”

The remarks were his first interview since the controversial remarks he made a day prior.

“The days to an appointment is really not what we should be measuring. What we should be measuring is the veterans’ satisfaction,” McDonald had told reporters at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast in Washington on Monday. “When you go to Disney, do they measure the number of hours you wait in line? What’s important? What’s important is: What’s your satisfaction with the experience?”

What McDonald had meant to say is that VA care can be like waiting three hours to ride the Matterhorn — then being told to remove your pants and sit on the little point way up top.


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