President Trump Fires VA Secretary David Shulkin…

When President Trump took office the VA was undergoing an effort to reform how healthcare was provided to the veterans served. In an effort to provide as much room possible for the reform effort to show improvement President Trump retained Obama’s selected VA change-agent David Shulkin. However, a year later with little progress, and a VA Secretary embroiled in personal spending controversies, and President Trump’s had enough.

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump fired Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin on Wednesday in the wake of a bruising ethics scandal and a mounting rebellion within the agency.

[…] Trump is nominating Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson to succeed Shulkin, a former Obama administration official and the first non-veteran ever to head the VA. Jackson has served since 2013 as the Physician to the President, and gained a national profile earlier this year for holding a sweeping press conference on the president’s health.

Trump has selected Robert Wilkie, the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, to serve as the acting head of the VA. It is government’s second largest department, responsible for 9 million military veterans in more than 1,700 government-run health facilities. The selection of Wilkie bypasses VA Deputy Secretary Tom Bowman, who has come under criticism for being too moderate to push Trump’s agenda of fixing veterans’ care.  (read more)

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331 Responses to President Trump Fires VA Secretary David Shulkin…

  1. Athena the Warrior says:

    Apologies if someone already posted this but this clown’s days were numbered:

    http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/377575-shulkin-cancels-meetings-with-trump-appointees-amid-va-strife-report

    Liked by 4 people

    • DGINGA says:

      Sounds like Shulkin turned into Nixon! He’s not paranoid though; they really were out to get him. Hopefully Admiral Jackson will be able to turn the V.A. shipshape.

      Liked by 1 person

    • VeritasVincit says:

      Good post. I haven’t seen it before.

      Liked by 2 people

    • All American Snowflake says:

      Armed guards at the door. Guns you say? Obamaites are spooked for some reason. I went to a library in a small town and much to my surprise there was an armed guard at the door. He’s there all day. It’s a small-town library for heaven’s sake.

      There is also a sign on the front door that says in Spanish and in English, “Todos son bienvenidos aquí.” Small town USA: Black flight, Hispanic squatters, and homeless at the library and on the streets.

      An apparently homeless Hispanic man sat at a computer singing in Spanish, laughing, and farting.

      Like

  2. Carrie2 says:

    Nothing like Spring cleaning the house. Trump gives them an opportunity to do better and when they don’t you remove them. He has always been explicit on taking care of our vets and instead they continued not to be cared for. Notice how nicely Trump says goodbye to Shulkin which reminds of the Southern saying: bless his heart!

    Liked by 4 people

  3. czarowniczy says:

    Shulkin was just another in a looooong line of sacrificial goats who’ve been ground into sausage by the VA bureaucracy. The political puke appointed as VA figurehead has about as much of a chance of cleaning out the VA – even if s/he stayed in that office for eight years – as you would bailing out a Great Lake (your choice of which one) in eight years with a tea cup.
    I’ve not only fought VA bureaucrats for over 45 years, starting with working out of a Senator’s office in the very early 70s, to today with both of my Senators, but I’m a retired Fed bureaucrat. The big secret is that the entrenched, professional Federal bureaucracy can resist Presidential poking like a turtle does attacks by chihuahuas. They know the law and the regulations, they have OPM on their side and they can blunt any appointed officials’ moves quite easily.
    Much of what needs to be done to move the VA requires Congress to change laws and those VA SES and higher GS bureaucrats at the local VA center level have relationships not only with the Senators’ and Reps’ offices but with the extensive and significant network of civilian vendors that feed off of the VA system. They provide food, supplies, maintenbance, services – you name it – and they can be whiped into a froth about protecting their turf quite easily. Those campaign-contributing vendors start calling their POCs at the Senators’ and Reps’ offices, screaming that change is disruptive and threatens their business, they have employees deluge the same offices with calls and letters and Federal VA civil servants do the same. Trying to get Congress to change the Federalm civil service regulations in any significant and meaningful way is next to impossible, I watched presidents and Congressmen try for decades.
    The person I’m dealing with at one Senator’s office has, through blood, sweat, tears and cajoling, managed to basically save the lives of two VA inpatients. That took almost all of his time to fight so other issues had to sit on the back burner – that’s one way the VA distracts those fighting it. That was two vets the VA IG won’t be able to put in his next special report when he checks to see how many vets died while awaiting VA vcare: https://www.military.com/daily-news/2015/09/04/ig-report-300000-veterans-died-while-waiting-health-care-va.html

    Don’t blame Trump, don’t blame Shulkin, blame Congress as THEY have the power and means to cut through the Gordian Knot that Congress created by almost bulletproof Civil Service protection that the VA uses like armor. It’s a maggot encrusted relic that nneds to be destroyed down to its roots and the money saved used to buy real health insurance for vets who’ll be able to use quality civilian health services.

    Liked by 9 people

    • elize says:

      While I agree with a large portion of your post I will blame Shulkin and all employees that are worthless. As I stated earlier and in other threads in my history at CTH, morals and doing the right thing must come first. I’ve had 2 accounting jobs that I left because I could not morally stand by and watch and could not sign off on what those in charge were doing financially. One was the state of CA and the other was a well known “non profit” for young people.

      I met Warren Buffett and many politicians and donors, they love photo ops. But I, as a human being and employee make the decision whether or not to participate in the sham. In both instances I decided that I wasn’t willing to risk my morals. I have never regretted those decisions. You’re right that it’s nearly impossible for a single good soul to change all that self serving evil. There is too much danger of the good person accepting the evil and looking away or joining them in the end. The security of a job you won’t be fired from with good benefits enables many to justify the evil.

      Sorry but I value my soul too much for money and job security.

      If the VA can be changed, Trump is one of the few men that can do it. If you want to kill the weed you need to get rid of the root, Trump is brilliant at disrupting the weeds and the root never sees him coming.

      Liked by 7 people

      • czarowniczy says:

        I watched Reagan crash against the rocks trying bto change the VA and Bush I. It’s a beast that has grown so large it’s almost impossible to stop.
        Shulkin can’t fire civil service employees, there are layers of protection unless the employee has been indicted, tried and convicted. You can’t fire someone easily for being incompetent, I worked with people who couldn’t pour pee pee out of a boot but if you tried to even give them bad performance reports you’d be buried in Union and, heaven forbid, were the poor performer to be a member of a protected group, EEO complaints and that would kill your career.
        Until Congress gets the guts to change Civil Service laws regarding firing (and hiring) any real hope of VA change will be likevtrying to punch out the Pillsbury Dough Boy. The bureaucrats at the AZ VA who took the heat on the vets who died weren’t fired – they were moved to new positions.
        Ditto with the VA director in the Shreveport VA, he just resigned and took the heat for the rat’s nest of underlings that allowed the mess to occur. Those in charge of drawing blood for the Shreveport mess breathed a sigh of relief that they didn’t have to wade into that swamp and the problem was ‘solved’.
        This isn’t civilian business, it exists in its own world with its own rules. I lived in it and fought with it for nearly 40 years and watched it evolve like MRSA bacteria. I’ll guarantee that Trump may dent the VA but unless Congress levels the playing field by giving him the tools it’ll be a small dent easily repaired.

        Liked by 1 person

        • elize says:

          Out of respect I won’t comment further. We’ve seen what Trump is capable of.

          Like

          • czarowniczy says:

            For me this is about getting what we were promised for being the tip of the spear for US diplomacy, not hero worship. I rerally liked Reagan, to me he was one of the top 5 politicians of the 20th Century but he still didn’t make much of a dent in the VA.
            Bush I and II were vets and Bush II presided over the beginning of the longest US war in history that created a flood of vets, vets who lived thru Iraq and Afghanistan but died because of the actions -or inactions – of the agency created to take care of them.Maybe the VA just misunderstood the meaning of the phrase ‘take care of’.Tru,p’s a businessman and has a grasp of contract law so he shouldn’t be upset when the other side of that contract points out that the government he oversees is violating it.

            Like

        • Maquis says:

          May I respectfully request that you offer these thoughts to President Trump? It sounds like you are unusually qualified to formulate a basic framework of civil service reforms required for PDJT to truly succeed in the manner you envision.

          That could be the seed of yet another amazing VSG GE PDJT success, but he needs a bill written to place before Congress because we know Congress couldn’t write such reform legislation on their own if their corruptocrat gravytrain counted on it.

          I’m with both you and Elize on this; the VA is seriously effed up, and Trump is the one soul courageous and brilliant enough to fix it.

          Like

          • czarowniczy says:

            I sent them in a letter to the WH within days of his inauguration along with present case examples from ongoing orks. I’ve also sent them about every four months thru the WH emailn system.
            I don’t believe Trump either has a solid grasp of what’s going on at the VA, considering the scope of his international work, or he does and is overwhelmed with the potential battle involved.
            POtuS appointed Shinseki who you’d think, with his knowledge of top-down management and his knowledge of the Federal bureaucracy, could effect change. Shinseki crashed and burned just like ythey all do, dashed on the rocks of the Federal bureaucracy.
            Maybe…MAYBE…if we can get enough interested members of Congress post-midterms we can get some changes masde but many RATS and RINOs just don’t seem interested, they talk a good game but never make it to the plate.
            I’m waiting for current vets to get to the point where we VN vets did in the late 60s/early 70s and just take over VA hospitals and ‘service’ centers in huge sit-ins. That drew attention and got some results but until the vets get masd enough to start taking the bureau meant solely to deal with THEIR affairs into THEIR hands nothiong much will get done.

            Like

        • Monica Bosque says:

          Your words mirror my husband’s own experience working in the VA. Incompetent people who border on being criminal are promoted in order to move them out of a department- for the good of that department! They can’t be fired! All the while vets suffer, and the few good people there are who labor to be of use get beaten down. The VA is one of the deepest, dirtiest swamps. Lord help President Trump!

          Like

          • czarowniczy says:

            I use the VA only for my hearing loss and when I go to their audiological center I take an audiologist with me who does not work for them and has over 40 years of experience.
            I’d suffered a ‘sudden hearing loss’ a few years back and on my first visit to the VA audiologist (they have a great program) they had me get a CAT scan of my inner ear to see vwhat mightb have been wrong. After over three weeks AFTER the VA received the radiologist’s report from the civilian hospital that did the scan my VA ‘primary care’ physician sent me two bottles of nasal steroids in the mail (my VA file states I can’t take stereoids) with no scheduled appointment or explanation of what the report said.
            I can remember the vets piled up at the old NOLA VA hospital waiting for meds. We had one disabled vet who had to take the day off from work and sit at the VA for hours waiting to get his regular meds refilled. I could go on about the horror stories but that hospital flooded, they built a new one and all’s forgiven while the bugs in the new one are excused as growing pains.

            Like

          • czarowniczy says:

            BTW, nearly 400,000 vets who died awaiting treatment is a subject the MSM ignores totally. That’s a number the VA’s own IG came up with, not some fake newes story. That’s more US military killed by the VA than were killed by our enemies from Korea to today.

            Liked by 1 person

    • sat0422 says:

      “Blame Congress” should be a slogan seen on every TEE Shirt walking at the mall, eating in restaurants, all marches for anything, and it could also be imprinted on every roll of toilet paper produced and sold to Americans. I’m sorry, but that’s how I fee about 80% of those who sit in congress. We know who the good guys are, don’t we!

      Liked by 1 person

      • czarowniczy says:

        Congress passed the rat’s nest of Civil Service laws when Federal unions (pre-Reagan/ATC dustup) really had clout. The Union clout is gone but their legacy stillstinks up the system.
        Other problem is wgen Congress passes any Civil Service legislation they write it to make everyone happy.
        The USERRA law that’s supposed to protect workers who are Guard/Reserve when mobilized is an example. Post-Desert Storm there was a huge row as the law that existed then was exposed as a paper tiger. Deployed service members were fired right and left – the law writers never really visualized sa deployment like DS – and knowing remployers used those bsack doors to dump workers.
        Thr hue and cry was so great Congress created a new law, USERRA, which sounds great but still allowed Federal and civilian employers to can deployed Guard/Reserve. Main reason I retired when I did was I received 9 kinds of hell from my Fed employers about how often I was activared and deployed pre- 911 and more hell with musical accompanyment post-911 when I revolving-doored in and out of uniform. And this was a Federal job.
        This all gets laid at Congress’s door, ther VA mess is their baby and the deaths of those nealy 400,000 vets who died awaiting treratment or receiving substandard treatment is on therir hands. They could have and still can solve the whole mess with the stroke of a pen.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Scout says:

    Managers must be able to sack lower level ‘public service’ (sic) staff with legacy VA attitudes (power attitudes based on enjoyment), just as if the lower level staff are working for Boeing or JP Morgan.

    Legislation to fix the un-sackability of ‘public servants’ (forgive my humour) is vital or nothing will ever change.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. wodiej says:

    DC should be an employment “at will” state. You can be fired or let go for no reason at all. In DC this is especially needed given how many flunkies are there who don’t do their job

    Like

  6. shirley49 says:

    He should have been gone on day 1. Do away with the VA and let our guys go to the Doctor’s of their choice.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. L. E. Joiner says:

    Now is the time to make major changes: Aside for a hospital for severe injuries, there is no need for a separate network of government VA hospitals. Give the veterans a card, like Medicare or any PPO, and let them get medical care wherever they want. /LEJ

    Liked by 1 person

    • sat0422 says:

      Welll, I think if they can ever get it run RIGHT, a veteran deserves special treatment at the highest level and that ain’t happening in a lot of medical practices throughout the USA.

      My daughter has a high quality health insurance policy. She has lived in two different cities out west and finding a doctor if you are a new patient is practically impossible. Many of them rotate staff in and out and when calling in for a prescription or other such matters, she is often told, “they no longer work here. You will need to come in and see another doctor.” Believe it or not, not everyone has great medical care. I’m lucky, I do, but I also live in a different regiion of the country. Out west it is horrible.

      Liked by 2 people

    • DGINGA says:

      It’s my understanding that veterans are not forced to use the VA system. My husband is a vet but is covered under Medicare and private insurance we pay for. Over the years I have met several men who complain and complain about the poor quality of care they are getting from the V.A., but when I ask them why they don’t go to local docs or our local hospital all I hear is excuses along the lines of “The VA is free,” or “They owe me!”

      Other than treatment for military men and women injured in the line of duty, it seems that the taxpayers and veterans would be better served if the whole VA bureaucracy was disbanded and vets provided with insurance like Medicare.

      Liked by 4 people

  8. Fred King says:

    I’m retired military, both active and reserves, and do not use the VA for the reasons discussed here.

    Liked by 3 people

    • All American Snowflake says:

      My brother doesn’t go to the VA either. Won’t hardly go to the doctor at all. Says he has too good of insurance. The M.D. wants to treat him for everything in the book.

      Like

  9. James F says:

    Get rid of all personell from the Obama’s era, even down to janitors and gardeners.

    Should have been a clean state from the start,

    Liked by 1 person

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