Clinton Downplays VA Scandal; ‘Not Been as Widespread as It Has Been Made out To Be’

‘Some of the reforms that were adopted last year should be given a chance to work’

MADDOW: "One policy question that I think the Republicans are raising or talking about amongst themselves hasn’t really burst into a general election conversation yet, but I am genuinely shocked by it.  Which is that it’s becoming more fashionable in Republican circles to talk about abolishing the VA.  Privatizing the VA, getting rid of it."
CLINTON: "Right."
MADDOW: "Throwing veterans onto the mercies of the for-profit healthcare system. The reason they are able to propose something that radical is because the problems at the VA seem so intractable.  If I had been running Republican campaign against President Obama last year, I would have run it entirely on the VA. A bureaucracy, a bloated big Government program (ph) that can’t be fixed and let’s do right by our veterans (ph).  Do you – do you have any new ideas for trying to fix it?  I mean – there – you can’t find a person in politics who doesn’t say we shouldn’t (sic) do right by our veterans.  But for some reason, this can’t get fixed fast enough."  
CLINTON: "Yeah, and I don’t understand that.  You know, I don’t understand why we have such a problem, because there have been a number of surveys of veterans, and overall, veterans who do get treated are satisfied with their treatment.  Now--"
MADDOW: "Much more so than people in the regular (inaudible). " 
CLINTON: "That’s exactly right."  
MADDOW: "Yeah.  Right."  
CLINTON: "Now, nobody would believe that from the coverage that you see, and the constant berating of the V.A. that comes from the Republicans, in – in part in pursuit of this ideological agenda that they have."  
MADDOW: "But in part because there has been real scandal."  
CLINTON: "There has (ph) been.  And – but it’s not been as widespread as it has been made out to be. Now, I do think that some of the reforms that were adopted last year should be given a chance to work.  If there is a waiting period that is just unacceptable, you should be able to, in a sense, get the opportunity to go out, have a private physician take care of you, but at the cost of the V.A."

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