Arlington, VA — Today, the Senate Veterans’ Affairs committee met to consider the nomination of Dr. David Shulkin, current VA Under Secretary for Health, to take over as VA Department secretary. Next week, Congress will vote on Shulkin’s confirmation.
Concerned Veterans for America Policy Director Dan Caldwell issued the following statement:
“We are encouraged that Dr. Shulkin acknowledged continuing problems within the VA, which previous leadership has tried to minimize. Dr. Shulkin expressed the need for transformational VA reforms, such as an expanded ability to fire employees who engage in misconduct or under-perform. We hope that Dr. Shulkin will work with Congress to pass the VA Accountability First and Appeals Modernization Act, which will help fix the VA’s broken disability claims appeals process in addition to protecting whistleblowers and making it easier to terminate bad VA employees.
“While Dr. Shulkin admitted that the Choice Program is currently not functioning properly, he did not have the chance to outline a complete vision for how this program will function in the future or whether veterans should receive choice through a different vehicle. In follow-up responses to the committee, we expect Dr. Shulkin will address how he plans to provide veterans with choice over where and when to see a doctor. Expanded choice was a key element of the President’s VA plan, which contains many reforms that are overwhelmingly supported by veterans.
“Concerned Veterans for America will continue to advocate for more accountability for VA employees, more health care choices for America’s veterans, and more transparency within the VA. As we have done in the past, we will not hesitate to hold lawmakers of both parties and the new administration accountable if they break their promises to America’s veterans and fail to pass needed reforms.”