Challenging times at the VA
FEBRUARY 2017: Dr. David Shulkin confirmed as the third Veterans Affairs secretary in four years.
DECEMBER 2017: The House and Senate VA committees release two different bills that would combine all the community care programs into one and expand access.
FEBRUARY 2018: Shulkin’s troubles start as he faces off with Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) over VA Choice legislation. Meanwhile, the Government Accountability Office releases a scathing report claiming that Shulkin misspent taxpayer funds on his wife’s airfare to Europe, inappropriately accepted Wimbledon tickets, and unnecessarily flew on private jets. And a damning Inspector General’s report reveals shoddy care at the VA’s Washington Medical Center.
MARCH 2018: Rumors fly that Shulkin will get the boot. President Donald Trump fires him in a 5 p.m. tweet that nominates White House physician Dr. Ronny Jackson as his replacement.
APRIL 2018: Three days before his scheduled confirmation hearing, Jackson sees his nomination crumble as anonymous allegations of bad behavior emerge. The House VA committee postpones its planned markup of the VA Choice compromise because changes are still being made to the bill.