Mitt Romney lent a private-sector management perspective to the health care scandal at the Department of Veterans Affairs in an appearance last night on “The Kelly File,” saying a lack of competition and standards gives VA hospitals little incentive to improve performance.
Romney, the former Massachusetts governor and 2012 Republican presidential nominee, also said Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki “needs to be removed” and that President Barack Obama should take responsibility.
“The VA system doesn’t really have a competitor,” Romney told host Megyn Kelly on her Fox News Channel show. “Hospitals on the outside compete with each other and are looking for ways to improve. The VA system is basically the only place where some of our veterans can go.”
An interim report by the VA’s independent inspector general found systemic problems at the VA’s health-care facilities, including poor procedures for scheduling patient appointments and an effort to hide excessive wait times. The report has led to increasing calls in Congress for Shinseki to step down.
Romney also seconded a proposal by commentator Charles Krauthammer, who said the government should offer veterans a voucher to pursue service outside the VA.