Is Dying In Line While Waiting For Health Care As Much Fun As Disneyland?

@DWDavis (12958)
Pikeville, North Carolina
May 24, 2016 4:29pm CST
The Secretary of the VA is in a lot of hot water right now with politicians on the left and the right because of his poor choice of an analogy to describe why wait times at the VA shouldn't be the only measure of patient satisfaction with the organization. The analogy Secretary McDonald chose was to compare waiting in line at VA Health Facilities to waiting in line for a ride at Disneyland. What he now says he meant was that people shouldn't just look at the wait time, they should look at how satisfied patients are at the care they receive. That may have been what he meant, but his words were not taken that way. To hear the politicians and media pundits tell it, Secretary McDonald compared dying in line while waiting for VA Health Care to the fun of a ride on Magic Mountain. The Secretary hasn't apologized for his comparison, but he has admitted he made a poorly thought out analogy. This is a prime example of a time when a person of above average intelligence manages to utter something colossally foolish. Do you think the Secretary should issue a formal apology for his ill considered remarks?
22 people like this
19 responses
@Susan2015 (21316)
• United States
25 May 16
He is a moron who doesn't care about the veterans. He should be demoted at the least.
6 people like this
@DWDavis (12958)
• Pikeville, North Carolina
25 May 16
He is actually a veteran himself, a West Pointer. His remarks were ill considered and I know he regrets them, but I wouldn't go so far as to say he doesn't care about veterans. He just needs a better filter between his brain and his mouth.
3 people like this
@Susan2015 (21316)
• United States
25 May 16
@DWDavis It did sound he didn't give a hoot. But we all say things we regret. But he needs to think before he speaks. He still should be demoted and let someone else be in charge.
3 people like this
@DWDavis (12958)
• Pikeville, North Carolina
25 May 16
@Susan2015 I have a feeling the press and certain politicians won't let go of this, which could be a problem. From what I've read most veterans groups feel McDonald is doing a lot better job than his predecessor.
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (113162)
• United States
24 May 16
Well, watching the news now and he has apologized for his remarks. Let us hope that his needing to apologize will have him kick things up a notch when it comes to doing right by our veterans. My dad was a Naval aviator during WWII and even though Dad does not need the services of the VA, my sister and I are often appalled by the way Dad is treated by the medical community.
4 people like this
@DWDavis (12958)
• Pikeville, North Carolina
24 May 16
I heard an interview on the way home in which the Secretary had expressed regret for his choice of analogy. If he has actually come out with an apology, that is something new. McDonald has overseen a lot of improvements in the VA since he took over, though there is much left to be done.
2 people like this
@Dena91 (4515)
• United States
25 May 16
My dad in law stopped going to the VA because they missed his cancer when he first had it (not his current bladder caner, he had another caner in the mid 2000's) plus the poor treatment of him. Makes me mad. Our government expects them to sacrifice their selves and their families for our freedoms, then our treat them poorly when they come home. Have a blessed evening
2 people like this
@Dena91 (4515)
• United States
25 May 16
@Corbin5 I'm so very sorry. Sadly I think this happens more than we'll ever know.
1 person likes this
@JohnRoberts (61067)
• Los Angeles, California
24 May 16
He should be admonished harshly. First, we know the "service" at the VA is deplorable so there's no customer satisfaction there. Second, Disney monitors wait time because they don't want to alienate customers and time spent in line is time not spent buying stuff.
4 people like this
@DWDavis (12958)
• Pikeville, North Carolina
24 May 16
Congress members from both the House and Senate, from both parties, have unloaded on him and some are planning to call him on the carpet for his remarks. And you make a good point, of which the Secretary was obvious unaware, that Disney does carefully monitor wait times and works very hard to minimize them. In his favor, though, he has overseen some improvement in service and reduction of backlog. His predecessor's gross incompetence and decades of neglect will take a long time to reverse.
• United States
25 May 16
@DWDavis It is an example of someone who should have been fired long ago from the VA getting a colossal promotion in stead. Regardless of an apology he should go! By the way he also was involved in several of the problems. My dad was a WWII Vet and many other family members are veterans. It isn't like he had no clue what was has been going on.
3 people like this
@DWDavis (12958)
• Pikeville, North Carolina
25 May 16
My dad and I are both vets. He's dealt with the VA but I've not had to as my employer insurance has always been a better deal. I know in this area the VA is pretty highly thought of, but I know that nationwide there are some major problems.
1 person likes this
@DWDavis (12958)
• Pikeville, North Carolina
25 May 16
@Berniezeitler Are you sure Secretary McDonald was involved in those problems years back? I was under the impression he had worked at Proctor & Gamble and then overseas after he got out of the Army, and being VA Secretary was the first he'd been involved in the agency.
1 person likes this
• United States
25 May 16
@DWDavis I'll double check that information. I recall reading it somewhere that he was.
2 people like this
@Deepizzaguy (14556)
• Lake Charles, Louisiana
24 May 16
My late dad who served in World War II would be outraged at that mean remark by Secretary McDonald. Our veterans should be treated with the honor and respect they truly deserve and not a sports hero or entertainer.
3 people like this
@Dena91 (4515)
• United States
25 May 16
Amen to that!!! Have a blessed evening
3 people like this
@Deepizzaguy (14556)
• Lake Charles, Louisiana
25 May 16
@Dena91 Thank you. It also goes for my late brother in law who served in Vietnam. He would be outraged.
2 people like this
@JudyEv (130266)
• Bunbury, Australia
25 May 16
Certainly it was a stupid thing to say. Typical of someone who doesn't really care I would say.
3 people like this
• Preston, England
25 May 16
it was a pretty crass analogy for any politican to use
2 people like this
@DWDavis (12958)
• Pikeville, North Carolina
25 May 16
Not only that, he was wrong. Disney monitors and analyzes wait times on its rides constantly.
1 person likes this
• Preston, England
25 May 16
@DWDavis Disney has more money to throw at the problem too
1 person likes this
• United States
24 May 16
Hi DW. Makes you wonder what these people are thinking when they spill this craziness out of their mouths.
2 people like this
@DWDavis (12958)
• Pikeville, North Carolina
24 May 16
I understand what the Secretary was trying to say. He just chose a very poor way to say it. It probably sounded good in his head and I'm sure he never meant to compare dying while waiting for care to the fun of a Disney ride the way some, like Neil Cavuto, are making out that he did.
2 people like this
• United States
24 May 16
@DWDavis Yes I get that also..he made a sad comparison and people are now capitalizing on his error.
2 people like this
@FourWalls (14675)
• United States
25 May 16
The head of the American Legion, whom I quoted in my discussion on this matter, said that there's a huge difference: people don't die waiting in line at Disney World. I was discharged in 1985. I just saw a specialist for my SC disability in February. That's thirty one years -- almost to the day from my discharge. Does he really think there's anyone who's been waiting for three and a half decades to get on Mr. Toad's Wild Ride??
1 person likes this
@DWDavis (12958)
• Pikeville, North Carolina
25 May 16
McDonald's remarks were ill-considered but he's not responsible for the failures at the VA over the past decades. He has only had 2 years to try and fix a problem long in the making. He is making progress, and I'm not sure it would be such a good thing to force him out and replace him with another Shinseki.
1 person likes this
@FourWalls (14675)
• United States
25 May 16
@DWDavis -- I agree. Everyone has had "foot in mouth disease" at one point in their lives. I remember Elvis Costello, one night in a drunken fit, called Ray Charles (whom, sober, Costello loves) the "N word." It would be a ferocious mistake to define Elvis Costello's career by that one drunken night some 36 years ago. By the same token, if McDonald is contrite and apologizes (I've been busy today so I don't know if he did or not), he should be allowed to continue. I'm rather tired of people getting fired over one slip of the tongue....no matter how stupid it is. And you're right, there's much worse waiting in line to replace him. They didn't rebuild New Orleans after Katrina in one day (unfortunately for that analogy, like the VA, some parts of New Orleans might never get repaired).
1 person likes this
@DWDavis (12958)
• Pikeville, North Carolina
25 May 16
@FourWalls As I understand it, McDonald has since apologized for his remarks.
The embattled secretary has been taking fire since Monday when he compared wait times at VA hospitals to the lines at Disney theme parks.
1 person likes this
@Dena91 (4515)
• United States
25 May 16
He can apologize if he wants to but it would be better if he and our government would actually take better care of our veterans than what they do. You know the old saying, actions speak louder than words. Tired of all their words. Have a blessed evening
1 person likes this
@DWDavis (12958)
• Pikeville, North Carolina
25 May 16
Other than the post WWII era, our government doesn't have a great track record of caring for its veterans going all the way back to the Revolutionary War.
1 person likes this
@Dena91 (4515)
• United States
25 May 16
@DWDavis You're right. Coming from a military family, still have loved ones serving today, it scares me to think that if they are injured they may not get the help they need. It's sad our government wants them to serve but are slow to help when they need it. I can't even begin to imagine all that they have to endure for our freedoms. God bless them all and their families. Have a blessed day
1 person likes this
@Hatley (164507)
• Garden Grove, California
24 May 16
yes if only to shut up the others we all have done something similiar but wes seem toforget that the man is a human being and humans do make mistakes
1 person likes this
@DWDavis (12958)
• Pikeville, North Carolina
24 May 16
I agree that he should go ahead and apologize for the insensitivity of his analogy, but I don't think he deserves the vilification some are heaping on him.
1 person likes this
@Hatley (164507)
• Garden Grove, California
25 May 16
@DWDavis thgat was exactly what I thought too
1 person likes this
@amadeo (70511)
• United States
24 May 16
this is tough.Not sure who to blame.But here in Manchester,NH.I have heard none of this.I am a member there never had a bit or problems seeing some one.The waiting period is long depending who you are seeing.We have so many,now they have system here to see someone in your area.I do not want to knock them.But here they are damn good.
1 person likes this
@DWDavis (12958)
• Pikeville, North Carolina
24 May 16
My father receives health care from the VA and he has never had a complaint. I think it all has to do with what part of the country you're in and who is in charge of the region.
@norcal (3214)
• Nevada City, California
24 May 16
He probably should, but we should consider that we all say the wrong thing sometimes. I didn't hear the remark, did he actually say waiting in line or dying in line? I think the people who die in line will not be too satisfied with their care.
1 person likes this
@DWDavis (12958)
• Pikeville, North Carolina
24 May 16
The Secretary himself said waiting. It is the media pundits and politicians who twisted it to mean dying. The truth is the VA has improved service a lot under McDonald, though it has a long way yet to go.
@LoriAMoore (4672)
• United States
27 May 16
Oh, I was wondering what the news soundbytes about Disneyland was all about. Now I see. No, not a good choie of words.
1 person likes this
@jstory07 (69224)
• Roseburg, Oregon
26 May 16
Sometimes to many people make a big deal out of things. People should understand the secretary did not mean it te way that it sounded.
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (170981)
• Switzerland
25 May 16
I wonder if they use their brain before speaking. Yes, the Secretary should issue a formal apology.
1 person likes this
@akalinus (20083)
• United States
25 May 16
What he was really saying is that the VA does not care about the veterans.
1 person likes this
25 May 16
I think it's unfortunate that people in the public eye don't engage their brain before they speak aloud. We're all guilty of doing it, but most of us can get away with it.
1 person likes this
@teamfreak16 (41175)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
25 May 16
I, personally, have never had a problem with the VA, but I know vets who have. Even so, that isn't a funny analogy. I see some pretty messed up people when I go for appointments, and not just physically. Terrible analogy.
1 person likes this