Graves Rips VA Secretary Over Stupid Disneyland Remarks

You probably heard about the notably idiotic statements made by Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald, who made excuses for the poor service record of his agency by alleging that Disney doesn’t monitor wait times for the rides at Disneyland.

Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald on Monday compared the length of time veterans wait to receive health care at the VA to the length of time people wait for rides at Disneyland, and said his agency shouldn’t use wait times as a measure of success because Disney doesn’t either.

“When you got to Disney, do they measure the number of hours you wait in line? Or what’s important? What’s important is, what’s your satisfaction with the experience?” McDonald said Monday during a Christian Science Monitor breakfast with reporters. “And what I would like to move to, eventually, is that kind of measure.”…

The VA secretary said most veterans report being satisfied with their care and argued that the average wait time for a veteran seeking VA treatment is only a matter of days.

McDonald’s statements are even more nonsensical given his biography. Believe it or not, he used to be CEO of Procter & Gamble – and wasn’t terrible at it. He’s not a blithering imbecile, or at least he wasn’t before he started working his current job.

The statements are, of course, indefensible – nobody dies waiting in line for the rides at Disneyland, and you can get a “Fastpass” at Disneyland which insures no wait times at all, and if you think Disney doesn’t pay attention to how long the lines are at the Disneyland rides and take steps to manage them for customer satisfaction’s sake, you’re demonstrably unintelligent. Why McDonald would blurt out such inanities is a puzzling question.

Baton Rouge’s congressman Garret Graves is puzzled. Here was his response to McDonald, delivered via Facebook

Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald today compared the long lines at Disneyland to the wait times Veterans experience for health care saying, “When you go to Disney, do they measure the number of hours you wait in line? Or what’s important? What’s important is, what’s your satisfaction with the experience?”

The absurdity of suggesting there is customer service similarity between the VA and Disney is astonishing.

The average wait time for Veterans in South Louisiana to access primary care is 18 days, according the the VA’s most recent Hospital Report Card (2012). While they’re waiting, Veterans feel afraid, frustrated, and powerless.

A cornerstone of Disney’s customer experience is efficiency.

The culture of complacency and federal government ineffectiveness at the VA has kept patient wait times in the news cycle two years after the public’s attention was drawn to the problem.

The VA needs a radical transformation. Veterans need better access to private care. Unaccountable bureaucrats need to be fired.

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