"David Shulkin: Political appointees pushing VA privatization to financially benefit others, not veterans" PBS NewsHour 3/29/2018
SUMMARY: Former Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin said Thursday that political chaos in the agency, largely sparked by the fight over privatization of veterans services, played a role in President Donald Trump’s decision to remove him from the job.
The President announced Wednesday that he was replacing Shulkin — an Obama administration holdover who opposed the complete privatization of veterans’ health care and other services — with the White House physician, Navy Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson.
Shulkin blamed the internal push for privatization in the months leading up to his departure on Trump political appointees, claiming the officials “have agendas of their own” and saw Shulkin as a threat. He also suggested the appointees weren’t taking direct orders from the President. Shulkin did not specify which appointees he was referencing.
“I just don’t see privatization as a good thing for veterans,” Shulkin said in an interview with the PBS NewsHour’s Judy Woodruff.
“I think that those that are really sticking to a political ideology or are doing this for other reasons, like financial reasons, don’t have the interests of veterans at heart,” he added.