In the last few days, Veterans groups persistently requested that the President make a stop at the Veterans Affairs hospital directly involved in the scandal that prompted the resignation of Secretary Eric Shinseki. After all, the facility was just one mile from where Obama was scheduled to give a speech.
Veterans at the Phoenix facility waited an average of 115 days for medical treatment, and an internal investigation showed that 35 veterans had died waiting for care at the Phoenix VHA system.
So you would think the President would take the requests of veterans concerned about the VA system seriously.
You would think wrong.
President Obama responded to those veterans wishing to discuss the scandal-plagued facility – by driving right past them.
Via The Hill:
President Obama’s motorcade on Thursday passed by — but did not stop at — the Veterans Affairs hospital at the center of the scandal over mismanaged care at the agency, despite calls for him to visit the facility during his Phoenix trip.
Veterans groups and Republican lawmakers had called on Obama to visit the hospital, which is located just a mile from the high school where he was scheduled to speak on a new initiative lowering federal mortgage insurance premiums.
Arizona veterans responded as you’d imagine, saying the President’s snubbing was “a slap in the face.”
A press gaggle aboard Air Force 1 shows the level of disdain the administration has for our veterans. When asked if President Obama had even considered the veterans requests to stop at the scandal-plagued hospital, press secretary Josh Earnest shrugged, “Not really.”
Here is a portion of the official White House transcript:
Q Did the White House give any consideration to having the President visit the VA hospital in Phoenix while he was here?
EARNEST: Not really. The President traveled to Arizona because Arizona was one of the states that was most hardest-hit — or at least the housing market in Arizona was the most-hardest hit or among the most hardest-hit states in the country in the midst of the housing downturn. And so this was an appropriate venue for the President to talk about some steps that he believes we can take, and the steps that he has taken, using his executive authority, to try to build on the momentum in the housing market. These are the kinds of — these are common-sense steps that will save middle-class homeowners $900 a year and would benefit hundreds of thousands of homeowners over the next couple of years.
Do you agree with the veterans that the President just delivered a ‘slap in the face?’ Sound off below.