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Ted Cruz: ‘Every Veteran Ought to Have the Right to Choose His or Her Doctor’

Ted Cruz: ‘Every Veteran Ought to Have the Right to Choose His or Her Doctor’

Cruz is currently holding veteran town halls across the state of Texas

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.”

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buckeyeminuteman | July 7, 2017 at 2:54 pm

Liberals in this country think health insurance is a right. It’s not, it’s a commodity. Unless at one point in your life you wrote a check to you country for an amount of up to and including your life. Then it is a right. And you shouldn’t have to rely on federal bureaucracy to get it.

And to think people want the government to manage all healthcare. The VA is just the tip of the iceberg.

    Medical care is a right by virtue of recognizing intrinsic value, which is, ironically, denied by proponents of Obamacare. Their arguments rest on the premise of environmental stability, which is functional, but ultimately irreconcilable.

    The issue is two-fold. One, the conflation of health care, medical care, and medical financing a la Fannie/Freddie, etc. Two, the disruption (e.g. monopolies and practices) of capital markets to undermine pricing controls and general availability. Affordable may cost less than “free”.

    Well, a third point. The establishment of institutional and popular [class] diversity (e.g. racism, sexism, congruence “=”) is a first-order cause of progressive prejudice.

      redc1c4 in reply to n.n. | July 7, 2017 at 4:04 pm

      wanna translate that into English, with citations?

        n.n in reply to redc1c4. | July 7, 2017 at 5:52 pm

        The implications of a moral philosophy that acknowledges intrinsic value of human life should be self-evident.

        The alternative to a moral philosophy with principles (e.g. individual dignity, intrinsic value) that are axiomatic or articles of faith is a philosophy dictated by a minority (e.g. mortal gods) or evolution (i.e. chaotic).

        Health care Medical care Medical financing (e.g. insurance). There is a correlation, but not a one-to-one relationship.

        Affordable may cost less than “free” in a market regulated through capitalist (i.e. organic, small perturbation/step size, self-correcting) pricing controls rather than by monopolies prone to progressive (i.e. runaway) corruption, control, and costs.

        [class] diversity is a policy where individuals are discriminated/judged by the “color of their skin”. This exceptional treatment is a sponsor of fear, loathing, and prejudice, which precludes or stunts normal relations (e.g. availability of medical services) between human beings.

        n.n in reply to redc1c4. | July 7, 2017 at 5:54 pm

        Health care != Medical care != Medical financing (e.g. insurance). There is a correlation, but not a one-to-one relationship.

OleDirtyBarrister | July 7, 2017 at 3:28 pm

Having health insurance and universal coverage is not the same thing as having access to good healthcare. Liberals do not care if anyone can get great healthcare, they just want everyone to have the same status. Except them, of course, because so many liberals are troughfeeders in Congress, govt, academia, etc. and are on govt healthcare plans that have not been compromised by the ACA as it has for productive private sector employees.

The Congo Black Caucus is not going to like anything that diminishes employment numbers at the VA. Blacks are 13% or so of the national population, but around 40-42% of VA employees. They have conquered that agency through the AA and token advancement program and are not going to let go of their prey easily.

Fixing Tri Care and placing all vets separated from the service and eligible for taxpayer supported healthcare on Tri Care while closing VA hospitals would be a good step. It would eliminate a massive employment and infrastructure expense and the the prospective legacy costs of pensions and insurance associated with federal employment.

problem is due to obamakillsyoucare many dr retired including mine and 5 others my immediate family used for years.

    Hexenjager in reply to dmacleo. | July 7, 2017 at 8:45 pm

    My current Dr (whom I see only on an as needed basis) is strictly cash. If the patient wants to try to get reimbursed from their insurance plan, she’s fine with that, but her office does NOT assist with filling out paperwork.

    BTW, interestingly enough, since she’s stopped accepting insurance of any kind, her rates have dropped to even lower than they were pre-Obamacare and when I was on Apple’s highest “Cadillac Plan”. My cash price for a routine checkup? $15.

OleDirtyBarrister | July 7, 2017 at 3:46 pm

I rarely go to a doctor, but a family practitioner I had used in the rare instances I needed one retired early as well. He had already sold his practice in a roll-up by a bigger healthcare entity. Now he does concierge type work and some contract work for nursing homes.

i’ve been in the VA system for about a year now, after having been told by them for over a decade that i’m not really a vet, and thus not eligible for care.

in that time, i’m on my 3rd primary care.

the first to were arrogant MD’s, who DGAF about my concerns, and who were only interested in their personal review metrics.

unfortunately for them, i’ve w*rked in healthcare since the 90’s, and live with another healthcare professional.

i know how the system is supposed to w*rk, speak fluent healthcare, and, as a Taurus, Infantryman & Cav Trooper, am not about to take shit from anyone, regardless of how highly they think of themselves, or how little they think/care about me.

i can only imagine what happens to my fellow Vets w/o my advantages. i use the Veteran’s Choice program every chance i get.

    been pretty lucky up here in maine, dr and staff treat me well only issue is wait times.
    I also only take care for stuff that is related to my active duty injuries and the chem/bio residue crap those of us who went through ft mcclellan were exposed to.
    if not related to service I self pay at another dr.

I enlisted in the Marines in 1964 and was honorably discharged in 1968. Of my four years of service, 21 months were spent in Viet Nam. I am not eligible for VA health care unless I want to cheat the system.

Too many veterans apply for and receive VA benefits based upon nebulous health claims involving exposure to Agent Orange and/or normal loss of hearing.

Too many of the real victims of the war cannot get the care they need because the rest of us clog up the system with our knee/hip replacements, prostrate cancer, liver/kidney failure and hearing aides. Mostly just normal aging health concerns.

    OleDirtyBarrister in reply to MSO. | July 7, 2017 at 6:26 pm


    I appreciate your sentiment on the matter, i.e. staying out of the way of people who were actually injured in the line of duty and are therefore deserving of taxpayer funded care for their duty injuries. But there are a lot of n’er-do-wells out there that do not have the same mind and are looking to get something at someone else’s expense.

    Do you recall what your enlistment documents said about future healthcare promises or what you were told by recruiters and other persons? A lot of people that spent a short time in the armed services and whom were never shot at or injured on duty insist that they were promised taxpayer paid healthcare for life. And they complain that they do not get it. But they cannot produce anything in writing to demonstrate that was the deal and that the real deal was that if they were injured on duty they would receive free treatment for life.

Yeah, I know a lot of those lucky bastards.

Military veterans should have no right to free medical care simply by virtue of service. Veteran’s healthcare should be provided for ongoing medical problems resulting from combat and some hazardous duty incidents. The major advantage to the original VA hospitals was to provide medical personnel who were more familiar with injuries, and other medical conditions, which were the result of combat. Of course, it has now become a way to control costs.

So, the VA has to be revamped, reduced and streamline. In today’s society, trauma treatment in on about the same level of expertise in both military and civilian facilities, so there is no real need for a large VA medical staff. And, all conditions, treatable under VA auspices, have to be directly related to combat [or certain hazardous activities]. A 65 year old Navy Chief should not be treated for liver disease, at public expense, caused by excessive use of alcohol.

4th armored div | July 7, 2017 at 5:08 pm

hope this link helps explain who qualifies for va medical benefits

The VA is the largest govt agency after the DOD, and serve maybe 1% of the populace. I’m fortunate enough that I don’t have to rely on them for medical care due to the insurance my employer provides. I’d rather pay out of pocket what I can from doctors of my choosing than receive spotty at best care from a roster of ever changing doctors (to see the same doctor twice in a row can be difficult, especially with the seemingly constant turnover in personnel in the facilities I’ve been to).

OleDirtyBarrister | July 7, 2017 at 6:53 pm

The performance of the VA certainly would deter any normal, reasonable person from wanting the govt to run healthcare for the rest of us.

The Repubs need to stir the pot a bit while trying to repeal and replace to take control of the messaging. They need to introduce another, interim piece of legislation to place all members of Congress and all federal troughfeeders in the civil bureaus on ObamaCare until such time the legislation is repealed.

Then, when Chucky Boy and Fancy Nancy stand up extolling the virtues of the ACA and harping on Repubs for trying to repeal it, perhaps one smart Repub with a sharp with and sharp elbows can use the pending legislation as a cudgel and ask, “If O-Care is so great, why is it that you personally refuse to go on it and refuse to put your staff and all federal employees on it?” “Good enough for thee, but not for me” would be a useful theme.

One thing that hasn’t been mentioned is the fact that the VA is reimbursed by a veterans insurance and or Medicare for treatment. This also includes treatment for service connected injuries. When that came into play the VA was begging for vets to come to them for healthcare. That’s probably why you might see some Remington Raiders in the waiting room.