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David Shulkin tapped by Trump to lead Veterans Affairs department

President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday announced that he’ll nominate David Shulkin for secretary of Veterans Affairs, tapping an insider at the department to oversee the major changes Mr. Trump vowed during his presidential campaign.

Mr. Shulkin, currently the under secretary for health at the VA and chief executive of the Veterans Health Administration, was nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate in June 2015. Prior to his work in government, Mr. Shulkin served in top roles at health care providers such as president of Morristown Medical Center, Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City and the CEO of the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

Mr. Trump made the announcement during a news conference in New York.

“Sadly our great veterans have not gotten the level of care they deserve, but Dr. Shulkin has the experience and the vision to ensure we will meet the health care needs of every veteran,” the president-elect said in an official statement shortly after the press conference ended. “Dr. Shulkin is an incredibly gifted doctor who is using his elite talents for medicine to care for our heroes, and Americans can have faith he will get the job done right.”

The selection is noteworthy because Mr. Trump made the VA and its troubled health care system a frequent target in his campaign, and used it as a prime example of the government incompetence he would fix if elected to the White House. Picking a VA veteran such as Mr. Shulkin indicates Mr. Trump believes the system can best be fixed from the inside.

Top lawmakers said Mr. Shulkin’s experience makes him the right choice for the job.

“I am pleased President-elect Trump has chosen a physician to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs, especially one familiar with the integrating of private practitioners into the VA’s network of health care providers,” said Rep. Phil Roe, Tennessee Republican and chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. “I’ve long said I would be happy to work with anyone committed to ensuring our heroes have access to the services they have earned, especially quality health care, and I look forward to working with Dr. Shulkin to bring wholesale reform to the department.”

Source: www.washingtontimes.com stories: Politics

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