Reality Check – The VA

Alternative Fact: “We can talk about experience but the VA, when you think about 13 million people, you could take the head of the biggest hospital corporation of the world and it’s peanuts compared to the VA. So nobody has experience” — Trump on Fox & Friends this morning.

Real Fact: The VA does not have thirteen million employees, they’ve just just under 400k. By their own documentation, they have nine million enrolled veterans. Unless this number does not include dependents who *quality* to receive services *and* there are an additional four million qualified dependents … thirteen million is another Trump-ed number. Even if they’ve got thirteen million people enrolled in their health plan, the number of patient *visits* (i.e. one guy comes in every week, that’s fifty patient visits a year), a standard metric within the health care industry, is more useful (and, honestly, impressive sounding). They had 95 million outpatient visits and 700k inpatient admissions in 2015.

Now that’s a lot of employees , but Amazon has more. Amazon also has something like 300 million active customers. So it’s not like anyone anywhere is this size. But OK, he’s limiting it to hospital corporations.

Hospital Corporation of America has like 200 thousand employees and handles twenty seven million patient visits a year. Less, sure, but how many employees and patient visits does the White House doctor handle? It’s not like Trump went with the Cleveland Clinic guy who oversees fifty thousand employees and seven million patient visits and defends the choice saying anyone’s experience is going to need to scale when joining the VA.

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