Nikki Wentling, Veterans reporter at Stars & Stripes, talks about Secretary Shulkin’s dismissal from the Department of Veterans Affairs, and why this firing was inevitable.
The firing of Secretary David Shulkin from the Department of Veterans Affairs has shaken the federal government. President Trump made the announcement via Twitter, and said that he has nominated White House physician Ronny Jackson to the position. Shulkin writes in a New York times op-ed that the main reason for his termination was his opposition to privatization at the VA. “We know that Secretary Shulkin favored a more moderate approach, that would balance letting veterans go into the private sector with still building up the VA and making it better. There were some people within the VA who had different ideas, who came out recently and wanted to aggressively push veterans’ health care into the private sector. They had some allies in Congress,” said Nikki Wentling, Veterans reporter at Stars & Stripes. “There is this division in these two groups in the VA. When the inspector general released a report in February about Secretary Shulkin improperly traveling with his wife to Europe and accepting tickets to a Wimbledon tennis match, that really escalated and drove this division even further. The last few weeks it’s been more a matter of ‘When is Secretary Shulkin going to get fired?’”