Trump & Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Agree On An Unexpected Topic, But There's A Catch
In a rare instance of seeing eye to eye with her, President Donald Trump agreed with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on how the Department of Veteran Affairs should manage its health care services, The Hill reported on Wednesday. Trump tweeted that while Ocasio-Cortez was right about saying that the department shouldn't overhaul its system of comprehensive medical support, it was his administration that apparently made sure Veteran Affairs was "doing great."
"Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is correct," Trump tweeted on Wednesday, "the VA is not broken, it is doing great. But that is only because of the Trump Administration. We got Veterans Choice and Accountability passed." Trump then quoted Dan Caldwell, the executive director of Concerned Veterans for America, who apparently said, "President Trump deserves a lot of credit."
In a recent New York town hall event, The Washington Examiner reported that Ocasio-Cortez defended the existing health care management within the Veteran Affairs. The New York Democrat expressed disagreement with privatizing the health care operations, noting that it would give unfair advantage to pharmaceutical companies and private markets as opposed to benefiting veterans.
Speaking of advocates who want to change the Veteran Affairs' health care system, Ocasio-Cortez stated: "They are trying to fix it. But who are they trying to fix it for, is the question we've got to ask. And this is who they're trying to fix it for. They're trying to fix the VA for insurance companies."
"They're trying to fix it for insurance corporations, and ultimately they're trying to fix the VA for the for-profit health care industry that does not put people or veterans first," the progressive Democrat went on to add.
There is a lot that seems to be going on in Trump's rare case of agreement with Ocasio-Cortez. For example, it's worth noting here that the Veterans Choice Act that Trump mentioned (and claimed credit for) in his Wednesday tweet was, in fact, first created under former President Barack Obama's administration in 2014.
What Ocasio-Cortez was recently pushing against is The Veteran Affairs Mission Act, which Trump supported. Essentially, as a law, The Veteran Affairs Mission Act attempts to consolidate private health care options for American veterans in order to ostensibly give them more freedom in choosing what they'd like for themselves.
But the New York Democrat has cautioned against it, noting that it may end up prioritizing financial profits for private markets over veterans who need medical care.
At that recent town hall event in New York, Ocasio-Cortez said, "We have a responsibility to protect [the VA] because if it is any community that deserves Cadillacs, first-class health care in the United States of America, it is our military service members and veterans, period."
Public discussions about reforming the Department of Veteran Affairs' health care system have been taking place for years. And Ocasio-Cortez might be onto something with her opposition to private insurers. In 2016, a Veterans Service Organizations letter stated that an "objective [and] unbiased" assessment of the department could "demonstrate the benefits of maintaining and strengthening" health care benefits more so than a private sector analysis.
For now, it's difficult to say whether Ocasio-Cortez and Trump will get together to discuss health care reforms of veterans. That said, with the president's tweet, it's possible that more people may be more curious to learn about the Department of Veteran Affairs and its current state.