Chal­leng­ing times at the VA

Modern Healthcare - - Politics -

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.

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