Jackson's name was not among the roughly half-dozen candidates the White House was said to be actively reviewing in recent weeks. Until the Senate votes on Jackson's nomination, he will be temporarily replaced by his number two in the Department of Veterans, Robert Wilkie. After release of the IG report, Shulkin reimbursed VA for his wife's travel costs but also complained to news outlets that some White House appointees at VA were working to undermine him.
President TrumpDonald John TrumpKushner has called Bolton for advice over past year: report Jeb Bush hits Trump: I go home to children "who actually love me" Sanders to visit MS for anniversary of MLK assassination MORE tweeted Wednesday evening that he intends to replace Shulkin with Adm. Ronny Jackson, who is now the White House physician. "I am pleased to announce that I intend to nominate highly respected Admiral Ronny L. Jackson, MD, as the new Secretary of Veterans Affairs....", Trump tweeted.
According to Jackson's Navy biography, "Since arriving at the White House, he has directed the Executive Health Care for the President's Cabinet and Senior Staff, served as physician supervisor for the Camp David Presidential Retreat, held the position of physician to the White House and led the White House Medical Unit as its director". I have been falsely accused of things by people who wanted me out of the way. "That's how strongly he feels about getting them represented properly".
Trump praised Shulkin as "fantastic" when he chose him to head the VA in January 2017.
Shulkin was the undersecretary for health at the Department of Veterans Affairs under President Barack Obama. Trump, who promised improved veterans' care during his presidential campaign, past year said the department had made "tremendous progress" under Shulkin.
After more than a month of rumored agency infighting and Shulkin falling out of Trump's graces, Shulkin has finally broken his silence and is using this platform to speak out about what he sees as those "putting their personal agendas in front of the well-being of our veterans".
One official said the criticism of Shulkin was "making it harder for him to carry out the duties of secretary of the VA, which is something the president has made clear is a big priority for him".
Shulkin's departure comes at a critical point during the VA Cerner EHR implementation. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, D-Florida asked Shulkin directly if he was being pushed to privatize care.
What's more, negotiations between VA and Cerner have been delayed. "We will not allow that for veterans".
VA is now working to build a contract with Cerner that encourages the use of application programming interfaces (APIs) and Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) standards to enable interoperability with the private sector. In December, Shulkin announced "a strategic pause" in the EHR acquisition process, with the objective being to conduct an assessment of national interoperability language contained in the Request for Proposal that would ultimately support an EHR contract award.