VA, President Trump, Vice President discussed on Buck Sexton
Disseminating information with actionable intelligence. America. Here again, this is the Buck Sexton show. Former CIA analysts remember the NYPD sex now. You're listening to the Buck Sexton show, I'm hard hill in for buck. The phone lines are open so give us a call at eight four four nine hundred to eight to five that's eight four four nine hundred buck with the media hyperventilating about Russian collusion, and the government shutdown one thing we don't hear much about any more from the media is the VA department that has let our veterans down at every turn for decades. And which is arguably the single best example of socialized medicine, just not working joining me to discuss that and many more as an expert on this Christie, William he's also a good friend of mine, and he's the vice president of next veterans as well. As an Iraq war veteran. Chris first of all, thanks for your service and thanks for joining us. Great to be with you Harlan. So how many understanding what's happening right now? Is this still an issue the the wait times and all of that? The VA still is having a lot of problems. President Trump has made some major changes early, and it's been very effective at giving the authorities. It needs to lessen the healthcare wait times. Give veterans a choice between local VA hospitals in private care providers. If they can see a doctor sooner cutting down on the union bureaucracy getting things right, and that's been encouraging. But I still think a major issue with the VA are Obama holdovers and union bosses that are still dragging their feet delaying the president's agenda and still kind of just being bureaucratic. So that's going to continue, and that's been an issue in many respects. But I do think the president is moving in a good direction. And the VA is trying to reform you're telling me that I mean, well, this actually makes sense because we hear this from every different department across the federal government. They're Obama holdovers. That are in there. They're undermining the mission of this administration to make some meaningful reforms and changes. And you're saying the VA's, no different. It's exact same thing. There. It's exactly the same. The VA is also the second largest federal agency next to looking at three hundred thousand employees, it's very very large bureaucracy. And there's a lot of high ranking federal employees that frankly, just want to kind of keep things the same and there's really no incentive to improve and change processes. So there's a lot of finger pointing into veteran ends up being sort of second to the bureaucratic. It's the VA before veteran. I think the Trump administration has tried to put the veteran in front of the VA. And I think putting the veteran in front of the VA is the real trick to the reform. I think the president's working on that now. So I mean, what are the biggest pain points for the VA like if you had to identify the three biggest problems? What are they? Number one is continued healthcare wait times for veterans in trying to get the bureaucracy to allow veterans to have these private consults when the line is too long. So they can see a doctor number two is staffing because of long pure critic rules to actually fill Dr positions, which I think if you get more bureaucrats out behind desks and more doctors in their will in the third one is twofold one the canine testing program is a big distraction. It's a total disaster. It needs to be shut down. What is that canine testing program? What is that? So the testing program is essentially these these painful past the VA was doing in in science labs with federal tax money to allegedly create new discoveries for for veterans health around cardiac and other things, but they never got any results out of it. There were a lot of scandals around it in congress and the president shut it down. But there's one waiver is already in the law that allows the VA secretary to continue the programs. It's a it's a. About a million dollars a year. And the current secretary is allowing the experiments to go forward. And I think he's really making a mistake. I think he's listening to some very bad advisers, and I think eventually it's going to be shut down. But it's just another example via bureaucrats and probably doctors getting paid a lot of money and lobbyists in the space that just want to continue bad disaster programs because it's it's a benefit to them. So why I think the president's drain the swamp. VA the swamp has been there for so long. There's so many bureaucratic rules that it's gonna take a little bit longer. But this is one program the canine testing program that we need to shut down in twenty nineteen. And I think we're going to get it done. So what about making available more private access to care for veterans? Do you think that's an important option across the board or in specific areas that were taking I do I certainly think in we have the stats. I mean certain as do better than others. We call these students veteran integrated service networks basically hospital systems for the ones that struggle a veteran needs. The option to say I can use the VA or I'm going to go to a private care provider and the program exists, but there's been a lot of problems around the rules of when you're allowed to use it when you're logic console. And so and there's been a lot of division in the veteran community about private privatization, but it's not privatization. It's choice. It's limited private care. When VA still is the overall healthcare provider, it should work. It is working for the president's got this. Right. Most of congress has got this. Right. But again, when you're dealing with the bureaucracy that big you're dealing with regulations and rules and federal money. There's still a lot of delays. But I think that's been a key issue. It's been improving, and I think that the VA committees have got to work together. You know, Democrats are going to have the house committee Republicans have the Senate committee. You've gotta work together and have hearings to get the healthcare choices. Right. So we can lessen those wait times improve healthcare and also prevent veterans from from having mental health issues. Well, let's let's such on the mental health issue right now. Because arguably, I mean, that's one of the most visible. Issues or most vocally issues. We're starting to hear more and more about what is the VA doing to treat that as an issue of priority. Programs in place where what are they doing? That's a great question. They're providing a lot of funding. But the problem is the VA spent so much money on ads and marketing and all these PR people and the PR people really just run around and talk about things that half. The time aren't even Germain. The other challenge is most of the veterans that take their life. Sadly, they're gonna roll VA. These are veterans that are enrolled in the system we've got about twenty two million veterans only ninety million enrolled at VA and around four million regularly use it some veterans don't like to use it others do. But the point is a lot of those veterans aren't even in the VA. So why isn't the brand strong enough to attract veterans is a whole nother issue? So veterans issues, I'm glad you're you're you're covering it. It's so great to be on because you know, Harland veterans issues just don't get the attention. They need most of the time. You know in our busy lives. I mean Veterans Day Memorial Day. We we take that moment. But the day to day. There's a lot of issues that need to be fixed. I think the president's focused on it. I think Democrats usually try to get it. Right. But I think they they need to learn that the union American federation government employees are a bunch of hacks. I mean, they're they're president non-fat. He's anti reform. He put bureaucrats over the interest of veterans that died on secret waiting lists in Phoenix. And we really need to make sure we keep slamming that union. And frankly, I don't even know why via gets to have it union. I mean, I so you're telling me the head of the union for the VA isn't even a veteran. No. So that the union af AFG it's a big union that includes VA, but also other federal agencies at large they have a they have a larger membership. But not all not albeit employees are members. But the head of that is not that I believe he was a VA nurse at one point. But again, that's what we're dealing with. We're dealing with people that don't understand how it is secretary Wilkie does get it. He is his is he comes from a military family. But again, the union has been an issue the union has af GE has been a big big issue. And they've been big union people in President Obama's said he was going to reform the union, and then he backed off back in the last session. I to two sessions of congress ago HR nineteen ninety four he issued a veto threat. So luckily, President Trump got that done in the first year, it's called the accountability. Act allows the employee to be fired without you know, waiting years and years and appeals. If if you if you mistreat our veterans, you should be fired and maybe. Even have the door hit you on the way out. And that's the way Trump administration is taking on the unions now. Well, Chris this has been great. I'm glad we could shine a light on this. No, this is something you spend every day working on. And and I really appreciate it. And appreciate your service where where can people find more about you? They can find me at my name and Twitter it C H R. I S N E W E M like Mike nine Wayne, Chris lame. I vice president of next veterans and work out. A lot of veterans issues and always happy to hear veterans issues trying to work them out and hear different perspectives on these gay policy issues. Thank you so much, Chris as always I really appreciate your time. Thanks for having me on. We'll be right back after this quick break. Make sure that you dial in give us a call at eight four four nine hundred twenty eight twenty five that's eight four four nine hundred bucks. Stay tuned zeroed in on this stories.