CBS’s SEAL Team must not be listening to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The series has now aired not one but two episodes criticizing the Department of Veterans Affairs. Even this show about the best special operators in the world realizes that the government isn’t the best solution for everything.
The May 1 episode “Rock Bottom” follows the shocking suicide of former SEAL Team member Brett Swann (Tony Curran). While the rest of the team attempts to move on in their own ways, his friend Clay (Max Theriot) who discovered his body aims to change things. He starts by confronting the doctor who refused to authorize an MRI on Swann, a process that may have properly diagnosed him for TBI (traumatic brain injury) treatment. The doctor apologizes then agrees with Clay that the system “might as well be the DMV.”
Clay: One MRI? One MRI. That's all his life was worth? That MRI that you wouldn't authorize. You-you knew what was wrong with him, and you wouldn't help.
Dr. Wilson: I couldn't help him. I'm sorry.
Clay: You're sorry? He shot himself, and you're sorry? You could have ordered that MRI.
Dr. Wilson: No, I couldn't. Look, I've tried that before, and it just gets a patient's hopes up until they're flatly denied. My hands were tied. The VA system serves nine million veterans.
Clay: Yeah, serves them. You make them sit here and wait in line for hours. Days. And then you just, you do nothing, but you shove pills in them.
Dr. Wilson: Look, we do all we can.
Clay: You don't do enough!
Dr. Wilson: I know that! Look, I try my best. I do my best. I work long hours here. But you're right. Your friend deserved better. Heck, every vet deserves better. But no one seems to care.
Clay: Once we're out, we just... We don't matter anymore. That's what you're saying.
Dr. Wilson: Nine million patients that need care. Run by the same government stooges that can't graduate 50% of high school kids or get us out of endless wars. And we expect them to make this work? This place might as well be the DMV. Traumatic brain injuries go unreported. You want to help? You want to make a difference? Start there inside the military. Make that your mission now.
This show may have just perfectly summed up the problem with the government running things. If we can’t expect the government to successfully end wars or graduate students, we certainly can’t expect them to properly care for millions of veterans - and some want to expand that to ALL Americans.
This is a far cry from the claims from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez that VA systems being broken is a “myth.” It is, however, an unfortunate reminder of how bad the inefficiency can be, as we saw in the Obama scandal from 2014. Even if there weren’t lives on the line, the DMV is hardly a good standard for regular people. Our veterans deserve far better treatment for their service.