Sen. Cruz has big ideas for the scandal-plagued Veterans Administration (VA). Thursday, Cruz joined San Antonio radio host, Joe Pags, where he discussed the work he’s doing to right the many VA wrongs.

Cruz has been traveling across the Lone Star State, hosting veteran town halls.

Here’s what Sen. Cruz had to say:

Discussing VA reform town halls:

“You know this week I’m doing veterans town halls all across the state of Texas. Did one last night in Dallas, we’ve got them coming up in Austin and Houston and just meeting with veterans and answering their questions. And lot of the questions are concerning the VA and how do you improve it? And you look at the scandal of the last few years, where VA facilities were keeping fake and bogus books. They were lying and wrongfully denying veterans care that they needed. Sometimes life-saving care and in jeopardizing their lives. It was shameful, and it was a disgrace. How do we fix it? There are two things we need to do to fix it. Number one we need accountability, and that’s something I’ve been helping lead the fight in the Senate for is more accountability the ability to take if a VA employee has lied, has broken the criminal law they ought to be prosecuted. And if they’ve wrongfully denied veterans care that they’ve earned and they deserve they should be terminated.”

Cruz believes veterans should be able to choose their own doctor:

“The VA is larger than the U.S. Navy. It is a huge government bureaucracy and we have passed some legislation to enhance accountability. We need more. But then the second reform is exactly where you started which is choice. I think every veteran ought to have the right to choose his or her doctor. So if you want to go to the VA, that’s your right, you’ve earned it, you bled for it, and you can go to the VA doctors that you know and you’ve relied on. But if you want to go to the doctor down the street, the local cardiologists you ought to be able to go and do that as well.”

He was, of course, asked about Obamacare, and its replacement efforts, and said he was in favor of expanding competition.

“I think the principles of reform both then [in 2010] and now should be expanding competition, enhancing options and empowering you the consumer and patient to make your own choices. So for example, things like allowing purchases across state lines that gives you more options that drives down prices. Things like portability, that when you lose your job, you should be able to take your insurance with you, so that it comes with you. And if you think about it, if you or I get fired tomorrow, you don’t lose your car insurance. You don’t lose your life insurance, your home insurance. [There’s] no reason on earth you should lose your health insurance. So there were reforms we should do all of which should be focused on taking power out of Washington, and giving power to you the consumer. That’s what we should have done then, and that’s what we should be doing now.”

Follow Kemberlee on Twitter @kemberleekaye


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