McCain’s abysmal record with veterans includes disgraced Phoenix VA Health Care system
U.S. Senate elections occur only once every six years — long enough intervals for the vast majority of voters to forget pertinent facts about candidates. This political disconnect works in the candidate’s behalf. As Jeff Flake noted, “The beauty of six-year senate terms is that voters have short memories.” With a ballot full of mostly unfamiliar names and intended to confuse ballot measures that urge yes votes when no would be the better option, and vice versa, it’s a difficult time for busy voters who want to stay engaged, but have scant information. That fact alone accounts for the barrage of mailers and media ads, many purposely intended to deceive.
This bit of background brings us to John McCain, routinely portrayed as the veteran’s best friend. During the Vietnam War, he was held as a POW, returning to the U.S. in 1973. But facts can be pesky things, though this Fact Check is from his 2008 failed presidential campaign, it remains relevant.
During his 2016 senate reelection, we were once again barraged with the octogenarian’s Friend of the Veteran refrain. But the stark headline — “Phoenix VA earns worst ranking” — in Thursday’s edition of the Arizona Republic newspaper tells a different story. McCain is unnamed but undeniably integral to the report. The massive levels of neglect and fraud as patient records were altered to hide their excessive wait times for medical care occurred on McCain’s watch in his own hometown.
The scandal-plagued Carl T. Hayden VA Medical Center is about 4 miles from McCain’s 7,000 sq. ft. penthouse condo. For a blowhard like John McCain, that’s spitting distance from his balcony. The newspaper account of the Phoenix VA Health Care System details the abuses. As a reminder, news first broke about the miserable conditions resulting in over 200 veterans dying due to extreme wait times for medical appointments over two years ago. Lab results were “lost.” The facility misrepresented results from patient satisfaction surveys and continued to give incentive bonuses to colluding employees. The truth is the Phoenix VA Health Care system is rated lowest in the nation.
This shocking Oct. 4, 2016 VA Inspector General’s Office Review on Alleged Consult Mismanagement at the Phoenix VA Health Care System found that 215 deceased patients had open specialist consultation appointments at the Phoenix facility on the day they died.
The self-proclaimed veteran’s pal, John McCain has never ventured onto the hospital complex demanding answers from administrators.