Potential independent 2020 presidential candidate Howard Schultz is vowed on Tuesday to overhaul the Veterans Affairs Department while taking a dig at Democratic proposals for a government-financed healthcare system.
“Now, there are good people in the VA, but there is a level of bureaucracy that is just unbelievable and now we want to turn over the entire healthcare industry to the U.S. government? I mean, let’s be real about certain things. The U.S. government does some great things, but the VA isn’t one of them,” Schultz said during a CNN town hall.
Schultz, the former Starbucks CEO and executive chairman, said he would be personally accountable as a results-oriented businessman for the reforms.
“The problem is that we have layers and layers and layers of government bureaucracy. No one knows who’s in charge, there’s no transparency of records, veterans are waiting weeks and months for prescription drugs. There’s all kinds of problems,” he said. “You have to put the quality people in charge with accountability to the president.”
Schultz’s comments on the VA dovetail with his criticism of healthcare policy initiatives such as “Medicare for all.” He has called suggestions from 2020 Democrats, including Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif, floating the elimination of private health insurance, as being “not American.”
Democrats are concerned Schultz’s possible White House bid may have a spoiler effect on the race, effectively handing President Trump a second term. The billionaire has promised to withdraw his candidacy should polling data indicate Trump would win.