Dr. Tom Waters – VA and VA Healthcare – April 21, 2018
Wait a minute. I am still researching the new Nominee for the position of VA Secretary, Dr. (Rear Admiral) Ronny Jackson, and he recently advised several US Senators that he will promise that, if he is confirmed by the US Senate, he would not privatize the VA.
Isn’t that the same stance that Dr. Shulkin had when he was fired by the President? Why does Ronny think it would be any different for him?
Well, first of all, he stated that he has not yet discussed his stance with the President. When that discussion happens, will Ronny still be the Nominee?
Also, the White House spokespersons still state that Dr. David Shulkin was fired (or resigned) after his travel irregularities were made public and became a distraction for the Administration, not because of any disagreement about PRIVATIZATION of the VA with the President. I don’t believe that is a true statement because it has been a historical fact that anyone who disagrees with the President is soon “on the outside looking in” and Dr. Shulkin publicly announced his disagreement with the President on Privatizing the VA.
While I am not violently opposed to Dr. (Rear Admiral) Ronny Jackson being the nominee, or even becoming the VA Secretary, if I had my preference I would prefer that any Nominee have “Command Experience” and be a retired Senior NCO or retired Senior Officer. Being retired would give them some insight into the needs of the VA and the veterans who rely on it. I also have “faith” that they would be opposed to privatizing the VA merely from their Active Duty experiences. And, most importantly, I believe they would listen to their fellow veterans while trying to understand the direction of the President.
You’ll hear me discuss the “evils” of PRIVATIZATION OF THE VA over and over again because of my background in the Air Force where I saw the detrimental results of PRIVATIZATION when done to “save money” or when done for political reasons. Yes, I mentioned this in a previous article.
But, let’s get back to the current nominee for the position of VA Secretary. Dr. Jackson may soon face his Senatorial Confirmation Hearing. While other conferees might have problems with the oversight committees (in this case the Senate Veteran Affairs Committee), they still have a chance of receiving enough votes from the entire Senate to be confirmed. However, I don’t believe this is (or will be) the case for the VA Secretary nominee. His lack of managerial experience in addition to his lack of endorsements from the nation’s Veteran organizations are a “tell-tell” signal to the President to look somewhere else for a nominee. In addition to those problems, he already has Senators stating that he lacks the experience to manage a department as large as the VA. Also, since he is still on active duty, he doesn’t have a background of using the VA nor would he understand the needs of the veterans that rely on the VA.
I plan to listen carefully to the confirmation hearings when they are held to see if Dr. Jackson can change MY mind. I’ll try to listen with an “open mind” in hope that he can convince me that he is the person we’re looking for. Unfortunately, qualified or not, the Democrats will vote against him to send a political message to the President just as the Republicans (under Mitch McConnell) did for President Obama’s nominees.
While writing this article, the news outlets have reported that the US Senate will “delay” Dr. Jackson’s confirmation hearing. This was pressured by both Democrats and Republican Senators which tells me that they have serious concerns about Dr. Jackson’s ability to serve as the VA Secretary. By the time you read this, who knows how much more information will have been released to help us understand that Senate Confirmation is not a “walk in the park.”
If you missed any of my earlier articles you can go to the Veterans Reporter News webpage at <https://www.veteransreporternews.com/> to review any Back Issues.
I hear from MANY readers about my articles (most are positive) and I thank you for your positive or challenging “constructive” comments. Feel free to contact me if you believe any of the information provided is inaccurate or if you have additional information that I can share with our readers.