President Obama stunned veterans, Republican lawmakers and even talk show host Jon Stewart Tuesday by claiming his administration has reduced most veterans’ wait times for a doctor’s appointment to “just a few days,” an assertion that veterans said doesn’t match reality.
Speaking to the annual convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Pittsburgh, Mr. Obama gave a mostly rosy assessment of reforms at the Department of Veterans Affairs under Secretary Robert McDonald, tapped by the president last year to clean up scandals over delayed health care for veterans.
“The VA is handling millions more appointments, inside and outside the VA, and delivering more care,” Mr. Obama said. “On average, veterans are waiting just a few days for an appointment. And that’s all good news.”
The president also said more work needs to be done, and that he’s “still not satisfied” with the VA’s overall performance. But it was Mr. Obama’s claim of “just a few days” that left critics inside and outside the VA system shaking their heads in bewilderment.