Former Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin says he was forced out of President Donald Trump’s administration because he did not support privatization of military health care.
“They saw me as an obstacle to privatization who had to be removed,” Shulkin writes in a New York Times op-ed. “That is because I am convinced that privatization is a political issue aimed at rewarding select people and companies with profits, even if it undermines care for veterans.”
Shulkin was fired on Wednesday as Trump nominated White House physician, Dr. Ronnie Jackson, to replace him.
He argued that the private sector was not sufficient to provide care for veterans and that privatizing the agency would hurt existing military hospitals.
“[P]rivatization leading to the dismantling of the department’s extensive health care system is a terrible idea,” he wrote.
Shulkin said he was frustrated with the climate in Washington, DC, calling it “toxic, chaotic, disrespectful and subversive.”
“As I prepare to leave government, I am struck by a recurring thought: It should not be this hard to serve your country,” he concluded.