Battle Was Brewing Behind Closed Doors At VA Long Before Travel Scandal Erupted
Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin is an Obama-holdover who defends the much-maligned VA health system. In an era where privatizing veterans' care is popular among Republicans, the friction has continued to build behind the scenes at the agency and in Congress.
The Trump Administration Goes To War — With Itself —Over The VA
Unlike some Trump appointees, who took the reins of agencies with track records of opposing the very mission of the organization, Shulkin is a technocratic Obama holdover. He not only participated in the past administration, but defends the VA’s much-maligned health care system. ... But others in the administration want a much more drastic change: They seek to privatize vets’ health care. (Arnsdorf, 2/16)
In other news —
Fat, Unhealthy Americans Threaten Trump’s Defense Surge
The Trump administration's ambitious new military buildup is at risk of being hobbled before it even starts — by a dwindling pool of young Americans who are fit to serve. Nearly three-quarters of Americans age 17 to 24 are ineligible for the military due to obesity, other health problems, criminal backgrounds or lack of education, according to government data. That's a harsh reality check for the Pentagon’s plan to recruit tens of thousands of new soldiers, sailors, pilots and cyber specialists over the next five years. (Bender, 2/19)