Shulkin was appointed VA Secretary by Trump
(He had been Under Secretary under Obama)
Recently fired VA Secretary, Dr. David Shulkin, specialized in health care management. He has been described as “one of the high priests of patient centered care.
Now he is warning of the impact of privatization and politicization of the already embattled VA — now underway in the Trump White House — writing in a NY Times Op-Ed here via AlterNet with this headline:
He wrote: “The department's understanding of service-related health problems, its groundbreaking research, and its special ability to work with military veterans cannot be easily replicated in the private sector.”
He then cited his VA accomplishments: (1) A new G.I. Bill, (2) reducing wait times at VA hospitals, and (3) providing more mental health services for veterans suffering from the effects of war.
Shulkin then claimed those successes have now emboldened those in the Trump administration to aim for privatizing the VA health system and adding those advocates viewed him as an obstacle to privatization and worked to have him removed” thus pointing directly to his dramatic firing.
He then wrote: Privatization of the VA is at its root a “political issue aimed at rewarding select people and companies with profits, even if it undermines care for veterans. The agency has become so politicized that political appointees have chosen to push their agendas instead of doing “what's best for the nation's veterans. These individuals fail to engage in realistic plans regarding who will care for those more than 9 million veterans who rely on the department for life-sustaining care.”
He then said the private sector would be ill-prepared to handle the backlog of patients and their medical issues (if the administration in fact moves to close or downsize existing VA hospitals and clinics – which also follows privatization plans), citing the vast mental health needs of veterans returning from war as an area that would be gravely impacted.
Possible impact of such a move is listed in this fine article from Salon.
Related and listed here (Pro's and Con's) of privatizing the VA.