Ben Carson: ‘We Don’t Need a Department of Veterans Affairs’

By Melanie Arter | August 28, 2015 | 12:57pm EDT
GOP presidential candidate and retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson (AP Photo)

( - Retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson told the Dave Ramsey show on Wednesday that the Department of Veterans Affairs should be folded into the Department of Defense and VA facilities should only be used for specialized care like traumatic brain injuries and limb replacement procedures.

“The size of government has to be reduced significantly. There’s a lot of stuff that we’re doing that doesn’t make any sense. We have a Department of Veterans Affairs. We don’t need a Department of Veterans Affairs. Veterans Affairs should be in under the Department of Defense, and it should be smooth transition,” said Carson.

The Republican presidential candidate said the U.S. should also examine how it cares for soldiers and that they should be in a support system immediately when they enlist, especially when they go into combat.

“We need to be looking at the way that we take care of soldiers. You know 14 percent down recruitment for our voluntary Army right now. Why? Because they’re looking at what we’re doing to our veterans,” he said.

“When a person applies to the military, they should be in a support system immediately from day one, particularly when they go through combat, because that’s when all the trauma is occurring, and we should have people in place a year before their time of discharge to be working on their integration back into society,” Carson added.

“There shouldn’t be a period of unemployment when they come out of the military, and they should have a health savings account, which allows them to go to any medical facility in the country, and we should be delighted to take care of them,” he said.

“We should use the VA facilities for specialized care for traumatic brain injury, limb replacements, and research,” Carson added.

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