Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Anthony Principi was Tuesday's guest. Here are excerpts from his remarks:
"VA is big, it is public, and it is not perfect. No heathcare system is.... [T]his is not ...my father's VA and it is not the VA when I came back from Vietnam. The VA is truly a leader...in care. "
"It is sometimes like a battleship...right full rudder and it takes a month for the ship to turn around.... [T]hat is sometimes frustrating."
"If you are killed, you get the $250,000 service group life insurance. But if you are just wounded and lose a leg and your wife is spending six months or a year in Washington, traveling back and forth, and not able to work...what do you do? It is troubling me. And I need to get more data and see if we need to try to come up with a proposal that would amend our insurance programs to provide some kind of catastrophic disabling injury type coverage. Because it is tough on the families."
"What pains me about my decision [is] ...I've met men... who scaled the walls at Normandy...and they have shrapnel in their bodies.... They have never asked for a penny ...maybe they just want to use the VA healthcare system. That's the hard part for me because to me they are very deserving."