Will New Secretary Of Veterans Affairs Hold To Trump VA Reforms?

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David Shulkin Trump VA Reforms
Photo from VA.gov

The Senate confirmed the new Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin with a unanimous vote despite loose adherence to Trump VA reforms.

After the confirmation hearing two weeks ago, there was little doubt Shulkin would receive the nod. In part, a President Barack Obama holdover was practically guaranteed by Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga) and his push one year ago to keep former Secretary Bob McDonald at the helm.

RELATED: Some Veterans Suspect Key Senator Holding Up VA Secretary Selection

While keeping McDonald was untenable due to a strained relationship with President Donald Trump, Sen. Isakson more-or-less got his way in the end, as did traditional veteran organizations who wildly support Shulkin.

Previously, Shulkin was nominated in July 2015 to run Veterans Health Administration, and the relationships he developed after that point led to his sweeping confirmation yesterday.

Confirmation At Odds With Trump VA Reforms?

During the confirmation, Shulkin said he would lead a “major reform and transformation of the VA.” But previously, he said he would make no major changes to the agency while leading it.

He said he wants to primarily rely on VA services but plans to use private sources when necessary.

“There will be far greater accountability, dramatically improved access, responsiveness and expanded care options,” he said. “But the Department of Veterans Affairs will not be privatized under my watch.”

When asked about Veterans Choice, Shulkin seemed evasive, refusing to answer Sen. Jon Tester’s questions directly. He instead promised veterans needing urgent care, who could not get care, would be allowed to use non-VA care.

However, this version of Veterans Choice is already a requirement for emergency care, and VA presently pays for such non-VA care through the Fee Basis program like a normal insurance company.

About Veterans Choice, he ultimately did not commit to expanding the program to allow all veterans an opportunity to select who and where they receive health care.

But, during the campaign, President Trump promised to hire a reformer to change the agency to better focus on veterans.

His position included allowing veterans to have full choice of health care providers, even if that meant using non-VA care providers. Full choice does not seem to be on the table now.

Top 10 Trump VA Reforms Promised

During the campaign, Trump promised to implement the following ten reforms:

  1. Mr. Trump will appoint a VA Secretary whose sole purpose will be to serve veterans. The Obama Administration has continually placed D.C. bureaucrats’ needs above those of veterans, this will not happen under a Trump Administration.
  2. Mr. Trump will use the powers of the presidency to remove and discipline the federal employees and managers who have violated the public’s trust and failed to carry out the duties on behalf of our veterans.
  3. Mr. Trump will ask that Congress pass legislation that empowers the Secretary of the VA to discipline or terminate any employee who has jeopardized the health, safety or well-being of a veteran.
  4. Mr. Trump will create a commission to investigate all the fraud, cover-ups, and wrong-doing that has taken place in the VA, and present these findings to Congress for to spur legislative reform.
  5. Mr. Trump will protect and promote honest employees at the VA who highlight wrongdoing, and he will guarantee their jobs will be protected.
  6. Mr. Trump will create a private White House hotline, which will be active 24 hours a day answered by a real person. It will be devoted to answering veteran’s complaints of wrongdoing at the VA and ensure no complaints fall through the cracks.
  7. Mr. Trump will stop giving bonuses to any VA employees who are wasting money, and start rewarding employees who seek to improve the VA’s service, cut waste, and save lives.
  8. Mr. Trump will reform the visa system to ensure veterans are at the front of the line for health services, not the back.
  9. Mr. Trump will increase the number of mental health care professionals, and allow veterans’ to be able to seek mental health care outside of the VA.
  10. Mr. Trump will ensure every veteran has the choice to seek care at the VA or at a private service provider of their own choice. Under a Trump Administration, no veteran will die waiting for service. These days are over starting January 2017.

How Trump plans to reconcile the difference is unknown, but that is not the only promise the president made that seems to be forgotten now.

No Trump Phone For Vets?

Many of you may recall the president promised to create a direct phone line to the White House so veterans could address their concerns directly to him.

That phone was supposed to be created by January 31, 2017. There is no phone at this point, two weeks after the promised implementation.

I placed a press inquiry about the matter, but Trump’s team has failed to respond.

Think Shulkin will adhere to the Trump reform agenda or will he backpeddle?

Source: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/02/13/veterans-affairs-david-shulkin-senate-confirmation/97849136/

Ex va
Ex va
Is this a va bad art picture or a bad joke? What is so funny? Is this suppose to show us that the new sec. of va shulkin receives care from the va and everything is alright now. It doesn’t make me feel safer about va services or gives me hope that services will improve. Is this disney world where dreams do come true? It must be with the billion dollar smile in future contracts for taking this tough job… Read more »
Crazy elf
Crazy elf
Do I believe “Shithead” Shulkin will “…adhere to the Trump agenda or backpedal…”? I think President Trump has much more on his plate right now, than to start draining the VA of bad characters. I believe he’s going to get America Safe FIRST! Then go after all those three & four letter agencies. He’s already having some agencies doing their jobs, ie: DOJ, FBI, ICE, BORDER PATROL, etc., etc., etc.! The VA, although is a cesspool of corruption, has already… Read more »
cj
cj
@Crazy elf: By far the most disturbing link you posted yesterday was: “PizzaGate Pedophile Victim’s Mom Speaks Out In Exclusive Tell-All!” I am only about 1/3 way through that video. The reason I go “deep” in investigating this crap, is to familiarize myself with the way these people operate, the code words they use,how and where they get their victems etc. This way, when I read a hacked email, I know what I am looking at. So when people come… Read more »
91Veteran
91Veteran
Crazy Elf, the one thing about this post that encourages me is the detail in Trumps reform plan. Typically a politician offers a lame plan to fix the wait times or reduce the backlog. Both a problems that have been a problem at VA for many years, and whenever a politician says they will fix them, you know it is a BS line because it will never get fixed. What encourages me about his plan is that you can see… Read more »
Bill
Bill

I think he ‘Trump,’ has been warned to srat away from the cash machine. After all he does not want to face the DBC.

The DBC where freedom does to die.

namnibor
namnibor
Shulkin’s joker smile in today’s “Bad VA Art” is somewhat disquieting. It’s a similar type of smile all the dinosaur VSO’s made while sitting behind him at the confirmation hearing, sitting there grimacing ear to ear like the piggy’s in that game Angry Birds. Will Shulkin utilize all the catapults at his disposal to knock out the corruption and fraud or are the piggy’s also still in control of those catapults? The AFGE Union needs to be divorced from entire… Read more »
GeezerGrunt
GeezerGrunt

You beat me to the joker reference, (just needs a wig). Instead of a shot they should have shown him getting a colonoscopy, then maybe they would have given him a hysterectomy instead. We’ll get the same shit, just a different day. Moving on………….

namnibor
namnibor
Yeah, and after a couple months see how Dr. Shulkin feels when he experiences the reception of the mass mailing of the VA stating they are deeply saddened that the Colonoscopy Equipment was not sanitized properly but no worries, we are working on a cure for a great price whenever we get around to identifying the new strain of HIV we just gave you…OOOPSY! Perspective is everything and I think he should experience in first person what Veterans experience, not… Read more »
Dennis
Dennis

Maybe he is smiling that way because the off camera nurse is checking him for a hernia? He might be getting ready to turn his head and cough…

CorpsmanUp!
CorpsmanUp!

Shit Shack Shulkin is already used to the coverups and poor patient outcomes. That is why he bailed from Beth Israel in New York. The same thing goes on at these private hospitals as well. “https://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/05/27/nyregion/a-manhattan-hospital-that-once-took-everyone-will-take-far-fewer.html”

Angela
Angela
Everyone, Secretary David Shulkin’s photo at the beginning of this article reminds me of DR. JEKYLL And MR. HYDE. Presents himself with a separate personality (appearing in the character of Mr. Hyde) into which JEKYLL’s evil impulses are channeled. Person alternately displaying opposing good and evil personalities. Displays the good personality in the confirmation hearing and once back in his position at the VA, then, the bad personality will take over. Benjamin, President Trump has so much on his plate… Read more »
Dennis
Dennis

Don’t worry. If things really go to shit they can just raise taxes and fix it.

Angela
Angela
Leftist media, Democrats, Mr. Obama himself, Liberals trying to exploit the Trump administration and too, did not and do like General Mike Flynn. General Mike Flynn knows alot and too much info with including the facts on Bengazhi. I do not doubt that the situation with General Mike Flynn and the illegal leaks coming out of DC are part of the Obama holdovers. All trying to undermine and frame the Trump administration. Sad. I believe that our country with including… Read more »
Dennis
Dennis

Just as long as I still have plenty of toilet paper when camping I will be fine homeless. Without TP I run out of socks too quick.

Angela
Angela
@Dennis – the way this country is going there will be nobody even working to even pay taxes. The only people left with the money will be the 1/2 percent like Soros. Congressman like Paul Ryan dragging their feet like always. Nobody in Congress realizes the sense of urgency with anything. They are slow as Christmas and trying to say they can only do one thing at a time. SAD. American citizens suffering in poverty with the Democrats – Liberals… Read more »
Angela
Angela
@Dennis – Maybe I can find me an isolated Island surrounded by an ocean for thousands of miles and use the leaves from the palm trees instead of toilet paper. I can live off coconuts. I love coconuts. Coconuts will supply me with food, juice to drink, plus with the coconut juice I can bathe with. Afterall, coconut juice or oil is healthy for my skin. There is always a positive to find somewhere. General Mike Flynn was and is… Read more »
namnibor
namnibor
Toilet Paper is something I always keep insane extras around because it will be worth more than gold leafing when the zombie apocalypse breaks-out or whatever, whenever the crap hits the fan. Although it just came to me in-pieces, literally, that I could sell the TP and use a dead for good zombie’s detached arm and skip TP in a real pinch. Most people also do not realize this but at the paper mills when making slurry pulp batches specifically… Read more »
Jack
Jack

Note, it is only a bandaid being applied. No Shot Intended

Crazy elf
Crazy elf
Here’s a ‘brand new report’ out from the “Census Bureau”. Showing the “median wage earnings” of different ethnic groups in America. From: “End Times Prophecy” via: “Angry Patriot Movement” via: “Census Bureau” Dated: Feb. 14, 2017. (5:16 minutes long) Titled: “This Chart Shows The Brutal Truth About America’s ‘Horrible Treatment’ Of Immigrants” When you’ve watched the video, notice there is one “group” left off. They are the “African Americans”! Evidently they don’t make enough to even be placed on the… Read more »
Crazy elf
Crazy elf

And, by the way, if y’all haven’t seen this before, maybe it’s time to refresh your memory.
From:
“High Impact Flix”
Dated;
May 9, 2016. (5:26 min)
Titled:

“The 5 minute Rant Every American Needs to Hear!”

Fantastic video for all those who have NOT learned from history!!!!!!

Dennis
Dennis
Shulkin missed his calling. He might be the best wiz bang all around great guy ever to place his hands into the guts of American veterans, but my proof is in the photo! I am older than I was when I was younger and that means that I have had uncountable hours in front of the Boob Tube. Theaters too. WITHOUT A SHRED OF DOUBT if the motion picture industry featured the photo you used of him today Ben, to… Read more »
Dennis
Dennis

I wonder what kind of tatoo he is getting in the photo?

james gallegos
james gallegos
Good Mourning Today a group of Colorado citizens will be delivering a petition to Senator Cory Gardner’s office. They have about 8000 signatures requesting he hold town meetings, Gardner is pulling a Trump move, stating that the citizens were professional ad gaiters and has ignored his constitutions. Garnder’s office will not answer the phone, leave a message. E-mail him and a Robot relies to each inquiry with the same message and thanks you and asks you to follow on facebook… Read more »
Dennis
Dennis

Those tribes in the Dakotas are not my tribe. Their fight is not my fight. Any tribe asking for charity of this kind is not worthy of it in the tradition that I am from. Where I come from men fight their own battles and reap the rewards and failures for themselves. This is the way of things.

I will decline the invitation to sacrifice my life for dirt that another tribe claims belongs to them. Good luck.

Crazy elf
Crazy elf
“BREAKING: Donald Trump Just Got Exactly What He Needed To Save The VA!” Well, sorta. Not really, according to Gary Franci, of “Next News Network”, and Danny Gold, of “Liberty Gold”! There’s “Red Flags” galore on this “10 minute confirmation of David Shulkin!” That’s correct, it took the Senate only 10 minutes to confirm “Shithead Shulkin” on a “100 to 0 vote”! Plus, remember, he’s a holdover from the “Obamination administration”! Look at what’s happening in the Trump administration with… Read more »
Kat
Kat

Is it just me..or could Shulkin pass for a Mafia Boss?? Like look at those deep set eyes, big nose. Put a mob hat on him with a cigar…and what have you got. LOL

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

@Kat,

Naaaa, no way, not a Mafia boss. He reminds me of a “chicken little” type. You know, the one in junior high or high school that was always “snitching on his classmates”! The kind of person being stuffed in the locker or being
“de-pants” because he snitched on someone.
I gotta feeling he’s NOT going to follow what President Trump wants. And, it probably won’t be long before he hears those two famous words –
“YOUR FIRED!”

91Veteran
91Veteran

I’m thinking Cheshire cat.

Or the Grinch.

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

I wonder why we’re not getting any feedback on today’s blog?
Is there a problem for people not being able to comment?

Dennis
Dennis
Well there are things that bother me so maybe now is the time to bring some up. Sort of a test comment but with some serious questions that got skipped in Shulkins confirmation hearing. I am thinking they avoided these really tough ones on purpose; Why is it called “Minute Rice” when it really takes five minutes? Why is a romantic time on the town with a woman called a “date” and not a “spend”? Why do they call the… Read more »
Windguy
Windguy
Ben asks if Shulkin will live up to Trump’s vision. The real question – with all due respect to Ben, is whether or not Congress and Trump get around to it. The answer will be no. Forget it. The election is over. Three years from now, they’ll borrow the flagpole they rammed up our collective asses, and attach a new flag for a wavy-festival during the elections. The next candidates will pat some cripple on the back, dish out some… Read more »
cj
cj

Wait!!!!!!………..I KNEW I saw that mug before:………….”http://www.oychicago.com/blog.aspx?id=25492&blogid=142″

Angela
Angela

Yes, it is me again folks. Here is my prayer. Dear God Please Bless Our Country. We really need his help.

Ex va
Ex va

@ Angela, Amen!

Lem
Lem

My impression is there is an attempt to cut back on Choice not expand it. I’m borderline and being pressed to use a mobile clinic. No face to face care.

ANutterVet
ANutterVet
Brother Lem, with respect, are you really surprised about no face-to-face meetings. As a patient, your PCP isn’t engaging with you any probing types of questioning, in order to humbly receive a Veteran’s feedback. Therefore, with VA medical care, there is NO patient-physician relationships or teamwork in order to properly treat a Veteran with his-her medical condition(s). Thanks Lem for posting your impression. I support and stand-by your conclusion. Just today, I started and then deleted statements in trying to… Read more »
Lem
Lem
It is more smoke and mirrors. Nothing changing for the better. Seems even the minor improvements in the last 8 months are reversing post actual election. we were better off while Trump was on the stump. GOP anti entitlement Congress is in charge. POTUS just beginning to find out, even with choice of appointees they are hamstrung by Congress. And changing the Party in control changes nothing as long as Wall Street controls Congress. Chase the money changer out for… Read more »
ANutterVet
ANutterVet
If the GOP anti entitlement is in charge, then where are the changes? I haven’t heard of any Democrat(s) putting forth any suggestions in solving the VA’s issues at hand, which we all know has been going on for decades. And lets not forget, that the late ex-President Reagan, -Clinton, and -Obama all had a rough start in the beginning of their administration. Even though the liberal vultures are swirling, it is really still to early to tell what is… Read more »
Lem
Lem
You didn’t get it. Anti entitlement is a call of the GOP. But both parties are owned by the money changers like Goldman Sachs. The VA accelerated its downturn during the Clinton Administration. And what the Clinton Administration did to it was unrecoverable with the circumstances of the addition of the Bush wars and the aging of the Vietnam and First Gulf War Veterans. Nothing has been put forth except promises by POTUS. And now the White House is in… Read more »
ANuttterVet
ANuttterVet
Lem, I realize that no party is taking interest to pursue changes in the VA system. Democrats are the ones who have always cried out that they are more for the people. And, I agree, both sides have been sitting back, and doing nothing but talking shit. And, if we stay in a partisan mode, nothing will get done with the VA. I think we saying the same thing, but in different ways. No matter what party affiliation, no one… Read more »
Lem
Lem
You are right, Nutter. Michele Obama said she was going to front for veterans in an Obama Whitehouse during the 2008 campaign. Never heard a word from her once she was actually FLOTUS. The do nothing obstructionism is all just an act for our benefit actually benefitting the money changers like Goldman Sachs. Nothing will happen until we concentrate on voting incumbents out until more attention is paid to the vote than to the money, no matter which party. Changing… Read more »
ANutterVet
ANutterVet

Lem, I hear what you’re saying. The real money changers, the people who let it happen, are those that are currently holding political positions in all levels of our Government. I have an extremely hard time trusting any of them. Especially, knowing that the VA has been having problems for decades. No one is taking the lead to solve the VA’s problems. Poor oversight, poor insight, poor management, poor health care for Veterans, and poor claims services for Veterans.

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

@”cj”,
Check this out from;
From: “MLordandGod”
via – “thedailysheeple.com”
Dated; 14 Feb. 2017
Titled:

Hillary Threw Pizzagate Snark at Ex-Nat’l Sec Advisor Mike Flynn on Twitter. Message?”

Question;
“Who, and Why, is really behind Flynn’s resigning?”
Very interesting video, wouldn’t you say!

cj
cj

@Crazy elf: I haven’t been able to get through an entire video. For some reason when I go to play it, my browser crashes. I have a desktop with windows installed on it. I will look into the two I didn’t get to watch tomorrow.

91Veteran
91Veteran
Will Shulkin follow Trumps reform agenda? That remains to be seen. Mr. Stairmaster got mostly what he wanted in getting Shulkin along with other worthless hacks on the House and Senate VA Committees, as did the VSO’s, but it is going to be Trump that will be hammered by the media when the next scandal hits. The problem here is multiple. The media is focused on doing anything they can going after Trumps cabinet picks, and finally drew blood with… Read more »
namnibor
namnibor
They must hang a Twinkie above Isaacson’s stairmaster so the congress critter keeps moving and any bad VA news in the morning makes his staff have to affix that Twinkie even higher as he gets grumpy from bad outcomes with the Ding Dongs at the VA. The Twinkie Technic works for the pool at the gym as well because as long as you do not open the Twinkie, it will float as it’s pulled along in front of the congress… Read more »
91Veteran
91Veteran

He’s a Senator and a hack. I bet they hang a hundred dollar bill in front of him.

Lem
Lem
Too much blood flowing in the White House for anything to get done. I predict Trump is gone within Years. To bad. Something could have been done about the VA if he had just looked around at what his people were doing. KGB spy cell? Probably not but looks enough like it to keep it on the front burner as long or longer than Watergate was. Quit talking about the leaks and focus on what and who is leaking!
Crazy elf
Crazy elf
91Veteran, I believe President Trump is no one’s fool. He knows what’s going on. Just like he’s playing the news medias, he’s playing the rest of Congress and other entities, ie: lobbyists, special interest groups, governors, mayors, police departments, etc. etc.. He’s got to find out who’s in his corner. Once that’s accomplished, it should be full steam ahead. Shulkin is but one spoke in a large corrupt wheel. As Angela has stated, he’s got a lot of shit on… Read more »
91Veteran
91Veteran

I agree he’s got a lot on his plate Crazy Elf, but I also think it would be easy to set up a phone line.

Unless he’s giving Shulkin a chance to fall on his face to he can shove him back at Isaakson knocking him off his stairmaster.

Jo3n
Jo3n
I’ve been finding myself hoping and praying and wishing that the changes promised Veterans, by President Trump will materialize. Each and every day he does things that’s saying things differently. Shulkin just has to dicker around for a while, and I believe….. Trump will forget his promises. I’m sorry, but it looks like our President is out of his league. The vultures are circling. The path he’s on, is going to either destroy him or us. He’s got to pull… Read more »
91Veteran
91Veteran
One thing you have to realize is that this is the normal chaos that happens at the start of every Republican presidents administration. If you go back to when GW Bush was first elected, it started right away with him as well, until 911 happened. The left waited as long as they could, then came up with the 911 commission to continue attacking him. Only around 911 did the left pull back from trying to destroy him or members of… Read more »
cj
cj
So far President Trump has done more, in the time he has been in office, than any other President in my lifetime has, in the same amount of time. I am hoping that old school tactics are at play here, (keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer). As Crazy elf has said, he needs to know who is in his corner first. I think soon enough, we will all know which fan the shit will hit. Either we will… Read more »
cj
cj

@Ex va: Hey, Ex va, sorry I didn’t stay late lastnight, was just too tired to stay awake. Hope you had a good night sleep.

Ex va
Ex va

@ cj, i am getting some rest. Finally the flu is letting up. How are you doing? I have noticed that someone keeps trying to mess with browser as well.. I don’t know what is up with this but i am having a hard time getting on this site and posting.

cj
cj

Another off topic comment. It would seem that the internet problems I have been having, were all due to ip masking. It looks like no matter what browser I use, if I also use the tor network, my browsers crash. To me this is disturbing. Why? because someone apparently is not llkeing the fact that I like my privacy.

cj
cj

Ok I was wrong, browser problems continue……….to answer my own question……yep…..it’s paranoia…..

Ex va
Ex va

@ cj, no it is not paranoia.. Just something weird.

cj
cj

@ANutterVet, @Ex va: Still awake?

Jo3n
I’ve never noticed anything like this since Vietnam. I have family all over the West coast, and I can say, with some certainty, most of em gone or going nuts. This isn’t the norm. There’s people who I’ve known…forever, on both sides, still talking about the election. Our President is one of a kind. Hell, very few people will ever have his job, and God knows we pray for him. He needs to investigate a bit more, and not relying… Read more »
cj
cj
@Jo3n: Jo3n, there is so much corruption everywhere you look. For sure this is no easy job, I sure wouldn’t want it. I don’t think he says something and thinks it will happen. I do think he is smarter than that. I feel an undercurrent of sorts going on. I could be wrong, but I think his team is assesing how far the scum is intrenched, and how many scrubbing bubbles he needs. At least I hope this is what… Read more »
cj
cj

I should say, I hope he doesn’t install that phone……I picture that episode of The Andy Griffith Show……citizens arrest……..citizens arrest…….

cj
cj

Ok…Goodnight, Bens World, and God Bless you all.

Jo3n
Jo3n

@Cj, I really don’t care about the phone, as long as it’s in the U.S., and I’m still in there. Like I Claudius, has a great act. Tough way to get the job done. God Bless the Veterans..

cj
cj
@Jo3n: Back again testing my browser etc. I understand where your coming from. It is frustrating, veterans deserve better. It is terrible the way some veterans are not being taken care of properly, not being able to be seen in a timely manner, living too far away, and not being able to be seen closer, by a properly trained doctor, etc. The list goes on. ANutterVet couldn’t have said it any better. I feel the same way, when I go… Read more »
OLDMARINE
OLDMARINE
I TOTALLY AGREE CJ, the place is a total waste of money. my PCP doctor on a annual physical just wants to hold my nuts and makes me cough i guess to see if im still breathing..then goes over my meds i took 3 years ago what a joke. i have a pinched nerve in my neck and my back he could give a shit less then he tells me thats why i give you gabapentin they think its a… Read more »
cj
cj

@Jo3n: I really mean it this time. Goodnight hope you sleep well. God Bless you and all of Bens World.

Ex va
Ex va

@ cj, hope you were able to fix your browser. I get kicked off the internet for some unknown reason. I don’t get it. Maybe my router isn’t working right.

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