McCain blasts Obama for not visiting Phoenix VA

Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainConservative activist wins contest to represent New Hampshire at Republican National Convention Schiff shows clip of McCain in Trump impeachment trial Martha McSally fundraises off 'liberal hack' remark to CNN reporter MORE (R-Ariz.) on Thursday blasted President Obama for not visiting a Phoenix Veterans Affairs hospital during a visit to that city.

The Phoenix VA was at the center of last year’s controversy surrounding the long wait times veterans endured for healthcare at federal facilities.


“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,” McCain, a Vietnam veteran and former prisoner of war, said in a statement.

The president’s motorcade drove by the facility without stopping on the way to an event aimed at promoting a new effort to lower federal mortgage insurance premiums.

Reports that veterans at the Phoenix facility waited an average of 115 days for medical care while administrators kept delays a secret prompted national outrage and several investigations.

Then-VA Secretary Eric Shinseki resigned over the scandal, and Congress passed a $16.3 billion reform bill to revamp the agency.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest on Tuesday said a stop at the hospital was not on the president’s agenda, but he highlighted that Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald’s first trip after his confirmation was to the hospital.

McCain said a presidential visit would have helped restore veterans’ confidence in the VA medical system and shown their healthcare is a “key priority.”

“Unfortunately, President Obama missed another opportunity to do right by those who have served and sacrificed on our nation’s behalf,” he said.