There aren’t too many open positions left to fill in President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet. Another post was taken today, and that honor goes to David Shulkin, a former Obama cabinet member who currently serves as undersecretary of health.
Donald Trump announced in a news conference on Wednesday, that he has chosen Shulkin to head the Veterans Affairs Department. What’s most interesting is this little fact:
If confirmed, 57-year-old David Shulkin would be the first non-vet ever to serve in the post.
Veterans’ healthcare here in the United States still suffers from its own set of challenges, according to a report by the WashingtonTimes.com, including long waiting lines and schedule manipulations for those vets seeking healthcare. Shulkin will attempt to reform the broken system that serves nine million vets.
More than two years after the scandal broke in 2014 at the Phoenix, Arizona VA Hospital, problems continue. President Obama had brought in a new team to tackle the issues and improve access to providers. However, many vets remain in limbo, to the tune of 38,000 waiting more than 125 days for an appointment. Arizona’s Sen. John McCain finds it shameful, saying the country is “putting the health of our veterans at risk.”
When Donald Trump was campaigning for president, he often blasted the VA department as corrupt and incompetent, guaranteeing veterans that they could opt to go to private doctors. It appears the President-elect is now stepping back from those remarks and taking a more careful approach to a complicated healthcare system.
So far, the nomination of David Shulkin is being met with approval from some democrats. Phillip Carter, an Iraq vet who had advised Hillary Clinton on veterans issues, is applauding Trump’s choice. Carter says Shulkin is one of few with the ability to handle such a complex system.