Rep. Seth Moulton (D., Mass.), a 40-year-old Iraq War veteran, on Friday criticized the Department of Veterans Affairs while reflecting on his experience getting treatment there.
Moulton, who announced last month he was running for president, appeared on CNN's New Day, where he was asked by co-host Alisyn Camerota whether it was fair to say his experience getting health care at the VA was "less than satisfying."
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"It is more than fair to say. I'm the only candidate in this race who actually gets single-payer socialized medicine today because I made a commitment to continue going to the VA even as a member of Congress," Moulton said. "I said, ‘Look, as long as my fellow veterans are going there, I'm going to go there too.'"
"What's it like?" Camerota asked.
Moulton talked about his experience going to the VA for a hernia operation. He said 20 minutes after he gave his name and Social Security number, they told him they couldn't prove he was a veteran and that they would consider taking him as a "humanitarian case." He praised the surgeon as "great"
"So fast forward a day later , I got surgery for a hernia and the surgeon was actually great. She was volunteering her time there," Moulton said. "She didn't have to work at the VA, but she wanted to take care of veterans, which is a really good thing, but after the surgery, which went well, they sent me home—they sent me back to Capitol Hill actually."
Moulton went on to talk about about how he was given some "very strong pain killers" to take once the anesthesia wore off, but then discovered later that they gave him the wrong medication.
"That's the experience of a lot of veterans," Moulton said. "Now there things I thing the VA does well…The VA actually negotiates drug prices, which Medicare does not do."
Moulton's criticism of the VA contrasts with freshman congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.), who dismissed efforts to reform the scandal-plagued healthcare system last month, saying they provide the "highest quality of care" to veterans. She would later double down on her previous statement, saying it was a "myth" that the system was broken.