Fox News’ Pete Hegseth unleashed a scathing rebuke of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for her praise of the current healthcare system for U.S. veterans.
Hegseth blasted the Democratic socialist who touted the Department of Veterans Affairs as providing the “highest quality” care for veterans, calling her a “mindless moron” in an impassioned outburst on “Fox & Friends” Tuesday.
“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,’” Ocasio-Cortez said at a New York City town hall last week.
“That is the opening approach we have seen when it comes to privatization, it’s the idea that this thing that isn’t broken, this thing that provides some of the highest quality care to our veterans somehow needs to be fixed, optimized, tinkered with until we don’t even recognize it anymore,” she said, according to the Washington Examiner.
“They are trying to fix the VA for pharmaceutical companies, they’re trying to fix the VA for insurance corporations, and ultimately they’re trying to fix the VA for a for-profit healthcare industry that does not put people or veterans first,” the 29-year-old freshman lawmaker said. “And so we have a responsibility to protect it.”
Ocasio-Cortez is opposed to privatizing the Department of Veterans Affairs as the Trump administration has been working to move funding of patients’ care from the federal veterans medical system, with the MISSION Act being signed into law by President Trump last year.
“The woman of the people should go try VA healthcare and see how she likes it so much,” Hegseth said, questioning what qualifies the New York Democrat to spout her views on the system that has frequently come under fire under the Obama administration for the lack of quality of care and service provided to American military veterans.
“What in the world is she talking about? She’s never used the VA or probably doesn’t know too many people that do. She would probably never use it,” Hegseth, a US Army veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, added.
“This is a system that, because it’s run by the government and a bureaucracy, is fundamentally broken,” he explained.
“By giving veterans a choice, you create competition which raises the standards,” he added. “It’s not about the scare tactic of privatization. It’s about choice and empowering vets to get the best possible care.”
An exasperated Hegseth could only offer one summary of Ocasio-Cortez’s argument against privatization of the VA.
“She is a moron, I’m gonna say it,” he told his co-hosts. “Especially on this issue, she is a mindless moron who knows nothing of this topic, goes in front of government union groups, and says if it is not broken don’t fix it…She doesn’t know what she’s talking about.”
He acknowledged that the system, while still “broken,” is getting better through choice provided to veterans.
“But it’s still a broken system,” he said. “And it you don’t understand it, then don’t throw weight behind thinking that it isn’t broken. That’s what frustrates so many folks like us.”