Scott Brown on giving veterans vouchers for private care

Calls for vouchers are a 'no-brainer'


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," May 30, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: But first to Republican Senate candidate Scott Brown on whether the president has gone far enough.


SCOTT BROWN (R), FORMER U.S. SENATOR: I called for Secretary Shinseki`s ouster or resignation back in the beginning of May.

I was one of the first ones to do it.

CAVUTO: I remember that.

BROWN: The president was wrong not to do it himself. I`m glad that he has accepted that resignation. It`s a good start. You need to do that top-to- bottom review and really change the mentality.

It`s not about money, Neil. They have -- actually, as you know, the VA has received a lot more money than most other groups in the federal government. It`s really about, I think, delegating, and outsourcing a lot of the patients` needs, whether it`s PTSD, mental health, or other needs, and establishing immediately, almost like a quick-reaction force, to start to get everybody processed immediately.

And the sole focus should be making sure that these heroes, these men and women that have served our country, get the tools and resources they need right away. We can`t give it lip service.


CAVUTO: But do we need a VA, Senator? Is the problem the VA itself? Many have argued give them vouchers to go to a private hospital if they`re told, you have to wait months, if not years, for help.

BROWN: Yeah.

CAVUTO: What do you do?

BROWN: I have actually called for that. I think it`s a good suggestion, especially in some of the more rural areas where you have to travel an hour.

In our state in New Hampshire, you -- some folks have to travel into Boston two or three hours, depending on traffic. There should be a mechanism that, if you go -- you need to go to the VA first, see if you can get help, but if you can`t, you should be able to walk across the street and other use that voucher.

And then the internal payment system should be directly between the VA and the hospital. It shouldn`t even involve the patient. It`s kind of a no- brainer. It really just means that people need to get in the same room and figure it out. And they`re not doing it. They`re just doing the blame game. It`s sad.

CAVUTO: Do you think though that it`s caused Americans of all stripes to question government care, period, that because of the problems we`re seeing with the VA just as ObamaCare is rolling out, it`s going to give folks pause? Because a lot of average folks have told me, Senator, if this is how we`re treating our soldiers, imagine how they are going to treat us.

What do you say to that?

BROWN: Well, that`s a great point. And I have heard that and I have actually mentioned that to people. I said, listen, do you want to have something like the VA, when they`re -- by the way, let`s be honest.

There are angels working there, hardworking, loving, caring men and women. But, administratively, they have got to fix it. Let`s break -- break and go to ObamaCare. As you know, the business mandate is coming in next, and it`s -- businesses are nervous. They`re -- they`re -- they`re -- they`re deeply concerned.

In our state, we have one insurance carrier; 10 out of the 26 hospitals are outside the network. In the city of Nashua, which is a -- obviously a very big city in our state, the hospital -- the main hospital there isn`t even in the network. So, what does that mean?

You have -- when you have Senator Shaheen and others ramming this thing through, what does that mean when they vote 99 to 100 percent with the president and his failed policies? it means higher costs at the pump, more cost at the food line when you`re checking out, bigger and better -- bigger and more, I should say, problems with health care, not only the delivery, but getting from point A to point Z and then actually paying for it.

Yeah, it`s real and it`s coming home to roost, and those folks want to hold those responsible accountable and they`re going to do it in a couple of months.

CAVUTO: You know you`re polling very, very well in a state, within a stone`s throw of Senator Sheehan there. And you have also just gotten the backing of Senator Kelly Ayotte, two former New Hampshire governors, Steve Merrill, Craig Benson.


CAVUTO: But some conservatives are saying, is this Scott Brown that we want to bring in there? A New Hampshire group is now looking at one of your rivals, more the Tea Party rival, and saying that, well, Scott Brown isn`t a Tea Partier. How do you address that? What are you?


BROWN: I`m a patriot, and I`m somebody who is a problem-solver.

Neil, as you know, the thing that -- things that I worked on, I read the bills, I see how they affect our state, our country, our debt and our deficit and I vote. We need problem solvers. If they want partisan ideologues, just send Senator Shaheen and others down there and they will continue with the gridlock.

I`m very, very happy where we are. Gail and I have enjoyed traveling around our state so, so much. And people have been overwhelmingly supportive. As you know, I did get Senator Ayotte, Benson, and Merrill, former Congressman Jeb Bradley.

We have a whole host of folks that are coming in, but, more importantly, I`m an American. I`m a patriot. And we`re in trouble. And we need to have somebody down there not only who can beat Senator Shaheen, but also can go down there and work across the aisle to really put our country`s interests first and that is what I`m going to do.

CAVUTO: You know, I guess I think in prior visits, Senator, you said, I try to be pragmatic, I try to get things done.

And a lot of people hearken back to your 2011 debt limit ceiling vote, because you were trying to make sure that we were not looking at a government shutdown. I understood the reason behind it.

But conservatives came back, particularly Tea Partiers, who said you let them down with that vote and that it was a deal they said was like a pact with the devil, because you made it with Harry Reid, and memories take a long time.


CAVUTO: What do you make of that and whether if you return to the Senate...

BROWN: Sure.

CAVUTO: ... you would entertain a similar vote, that if you were pushed to raise the debt ceiling, not raise it, what would you do?


BROWN: Oh, I have taken many, many votes.

And any debt ceiling votes, my memory is that we got offsetting cuts in that instance, and I support that. And I will continue to find ways to not only cut down our deficit and our debt to make sure that we can actually do that top-to-bottom review of every federal program, find a way to maximize our dollars that come in from the government.

But I`m not specifically sure about that vote. But I -- that is not what I`m hearing. What I`m everything right now is that I`m somebody that my door is always open, I`m a problem-solver, and what we have now here in New Hampshire is a senator who has voted last year 99 percent of the time, the year before 100 percent of the time with the president and so on and so forth.

And I tell all the Tea Party and other members of different factions of our party -- and I paraphrase President Reagan -- you can have somebody who is 60 percent, 70 percent, 80 percent your friend or your 100 percent enemy. And I`m going to go down there and do what I have always done. I`m going to look at the facts and figure out how we can do it better.

CAVUTO: Scott Brown, thank you very much. Good seeing you again.

BROWN: Good to see you, too, Neil. Thank you.


CAVUTO: We should point out, we put out a call to his opponent, the Democratic senator right now, Senator Shaheen. We have not heard back from her, but, again, hopes springs eternal.

By the way, something I touched on with Scott Brown that bears repeating, how we treat our veterans, and can we trust the government to take care of them, let alone us? With the rollout of ObamaCare, it`s a big question, a big concern.

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