Although President Barack Obama visited Phoenix, Ariz., Thursday, his itinerary did not entail a visit to the city’s Veterans Administration (VA) Hospital. For the last year, the VA has been the focus of a scandal involving delays in providing healthcare to service members.
Obama motorcade drives by scandal-plagued VA hospital http://t.co/x3ZEQPWz0Q
— David Webb (@davidwebbshow) January 8, 2015
Obama spoke at Central High School in Phoenix Thursday, touting an administration proposal to lower mortgage premiums, The Arizona Republic reported.
The VA scandal came to light last year, where dozens of veterans died as a result of the delay of care–and about 1,700 more were in danger of being “lost or forgotten” in the VA’s bureaucracy, according to VA Inspector General Richard Griffin. Veterans had to wait an average of 115 days for care, according to reports.
As KSAZ noted, the presidential motorcade passed the Phoenix facility to and from Central High School; but no stop was made, despite Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and groups including Concerned Veterans for America pressuring Obama to do so. McCain blasted the president for the snub in a statement Thursday, The Hill reported:
It is deeply disappointing that the president refused to take time to visit the veterans at the Phoenix VA, where the national scandal of mismanagement in VA health care first surfaced this spring.
Matthew Kenney of Concerned Veterans for America also condemned Obama and echoed McCain’s sentiments, according to The Washington Free Beacon:
We would think if he was serious about VA reform that he would come down to the Phoenix VA, see what the problems are. See them first hand and come up with solutions on how to fix it.
Jesus Miramon, who served during the Vietnam era and was present outside the school where Obama was speaking, also expressed his displeasure. “It is true that he should not be hating a vet today, he should be showing us a little love today,” Miramon told KNXV.
Sally Barnes, another protester on the ground, was also displeased with the president. “That was a smack in the face for my family and all the veterans that are suffering because of the VA hospital,” she said to KSAZ. “A mortgage is more important than veterans dying? They are heroes.”
Here is how others reacted to the president skipping the VA hospital in Phoenix:
— Rep. Bill Huizenga (@RepHuizenga) January 8, 2015
— Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) January 8, 2015
— Cameron Gray (@Cameron_Gray) January 8, 2015
Speeding past a monument to big government corruption/incompetence on the way to rally for bigger government: http://t.co/wwLb1lyx2x
— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) January 8, 2015
‘Hope he at least slowed down’: Obama slammed for Phoenix VA hospital ‘drive-by’ http://t.co/lVJp9jSydY
— TwitchyTeam (@TwitchyTeam) January 8, 2015
Image credit: The City Project (Flickr)
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom