WH: ‘No Intent at This Point to Privatize the VA’

By Melanie Arter | March 29, 2018 | 11:07pm EDT

(CNSNews.com) - The White House said Thursday that “there is no intent at this point to privatize the VA.”

During a press gaggle on Air Force One en route to Cleveland, Ohio, Deputy Press Secretary Lindsey Walters was asked whether President Donald Trump’s appointment of White House physician Rear Adm. Dr. Ronny Jackson to replace David Shulkin as VA secretary should be interpreted as a signal that the president wants to see greater privatization of the VA.

“Admiral Jackson is a distinguished physician who has bipartisan respect. He knows what the care soldiers need on the battlefield and what they'll need when they come home as veterans. The status quo has clearly failed, and we need somebody who understands healthcare,” Walters said.

“The president has full confidence in his pick in Admiral Jackson and trusts his abilities, and believes he will be able to give our veterans the care they deserve. And, no, there is no intent at this point to privatize the VA,” she added.

Jackson will have to retire from the military upon being named VA secretary, Walters said.

A reporter noted that Jackson “seems to have no apparent management experience” and asked what in Jackson’s background convinced the president that Jackson could manage the VA.

“As I said earlier, the president has full confidence in Admiral Jackson. The president did have several individuals that he was looking at, but continuously went back to Dr. Jackson to fulfill this role as VA secretary, and ultimately decided that his healthcare experience, his distinguished career in the medical profession was something that would be beneficial at the VA,” Walters said.

“And at the end of the day, as I said earlier, the status quo was not working. We need somebody who understands the healthcare system,” Walters added.


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