A 2020 candidate who served in the Marines says Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Trump are both wrong about the Veterans Affairs administration

  • Rep. Seth Moulton, a Massachusetts Democrat and 2020 presidential candidate, said he disagrees with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s and President Donald Trump’s arguments that the Department of Veterans Affairs “is not broken.”
  • Moulton argued that the VA system needs “more competition” and said offering veterans private insurance “should be an option.”
  • This comes after Ocasio-Cortez criticised efforts to privatize the VA, saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” and Trump said he agreed with the progressive congresswoman that the VA “is doing great.”

Rep. Seth Moulton, a Massachusetts Democrat and 2020 presidential candidate, said he disagrees with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s and President Donald Trump’s arguments that the Department of Veterans Affairs “is not broken.”

“I do disagree. The VA is broken,” Moulton, a Marine veteran,told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday.

While Moulton argued that the VA’s drug prices are better than those of private insurers and other government insurance systems because of the department’s ability to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies, he added that the VA struggles in other areas.

“When people show up at the VA and they can’t even get seen for months, when I get sent home with the wrong medications after having a minor surgery – that is not a good healthcare system,” Moulton said.


Read more: Trump says Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is right that the Veterans Affairs department ‘isn’t broken’

But when Tapper first asked Moulton if he’s in favour of privatizing the VA or offering private insurance options to veterans, Moulton demurred.

“No, no, what should happen is that there should be more competition,” Moulton replied.

When Tapper pushed Moulton on privatizing the system, the congressman allowed that that “should be an option.”

“My bottom line is that veterans deserve the best healthcare in the world – period,” he said.

This particular debate began when Ocasio-Cortez argued at a town hall earlier this month that Americans should resist efforts to privatize the VA’s services.

“All I can think of is that classic refrain that my parents always taught me growing up, is that: ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,'” she said, arguing that Trump and his allies are “trying to fix the VA for a for-profit healthcare industry that does not put people or veterans first.”

Congressional Republicans took issue with Ocasio-Cortez’s remarks, calling her praise of the VA “offensive.”


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But last Wednesday, Trump tweeted that he agrees with Ocasio-Cortez that the VA “is not broken,” adding that his administration had fixed it.

“Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is correct, the VA is not broken, it is doing great. But that is only because of the Trump Administration,” the president wrote. “We got Veterans Choice & Accountability passed. ‘President Trump deserves a lot of credit.’ Dan Caldwell, Concerned Veterans of America.”

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