Shulkin slams 'toxic' Washington, speaks out against VA privatization

The op-ed comes after President TrumpDonald John TrumpKushner has called Bolton for advice over past year: report Jeb Bush hits Trump: I go home to children "who actually love me" Sanders to visit MS for anniversary of MLK assassination MORE said Wednesday he was removing Shulkin and tapping Adm. Ronny Jackson, the White House physician, as his replacement, ending weeks of uncertainty at the embattled agency.

Secretary David Shulkin has blamed his sudden ouster from the Trump administration on "political forces" that he says are bent on privatising the agency and putting "companies with profits" over veterans' care.

Speaking about his choice, Trump in a statement said, "Admiral Jackson is highly trained and qualified and as a service member himself, he has seen firsthand the tremendous sacrifice our veterans make and has a deep appreciation for the debt our great country owes them". "In the interim, Hon".

Dr. Shulkin was brought on as Under-Secretary for Veterans Affairs by President Obama in 2015, and promoted to Secretary by President Trump. "I was not against reforming VA, but I was against privatization", Mr. Shulkin said on National Public Radio's "Morning Edition".

Shulkin, a holdout from the Obama administration and competent Cabinet secretary who Trump had extolled openly and often during his first year as president, saw his support within the administration deteriorate in recent months.

But Shulkin's standing to fight for VA programs and budgets was weakened in February when the VA Inspector General issued a scathing report on travel abuses by Shulkin and staff on a 10-day trip to Denmark and London last July.

Shulkin claims that political appointees promoting the "terrible idea" of privatization are far more focused on making money than caring "for the more than 9 million veterans who rely on the department for life-sustaining care".

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The White House has not replied to a request for comment on Shulkin's accounting of events.

"Privatization leading to the dismantling of the department's extensive health care system is a bad idea".

Shulkin also has been viewed as an obstacle to the expansion of government-subsidized private health care for veterans, one of the Trump administration's key policy priorities.

Although he has been serving in the Trump administration, Jackson's time as White House physician carries over from previous presidencies.

This past December, Shulkin ordered a "strategic pause" in the agency's negotiations with Cerner-as part of the EHR acquisition process-to have the MITRE Corporation conduct an external assessment of the VA's interoperability requirements. Shulkin demurred from pointing a finger squarely at President Trump but described a VA riddled with political pressure and conflict.

Read Also: Former Playboy model Karen McDougal says Donald Trump was "charming" during their long affair AMVETS Executive Director Joe Chenelly questioned whether Jackson, who has no experience in management, is qualified to run a $200 billion a year bureaucracy, the second largest agency in the USA government.

He listed what he said were accomplishments during his time as VA secretary.

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