Various advocacy organizations in the veterans’ community say they weren’t invited to an event put on by the White House about serious problems at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The White House held a listening session regarding issues with health care at the VA on Tuesday, but several veterans’ organizations said they only heard about the meeting after it was posted up on the White House’s schedule Monday evening. In other words, they weren’t invited, Military Times reports.
These organizations include the American Legion, Disabled American Veterans and Veterans of Foreign Wars.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer mentioned in a statement that several interesting figures were in attendance, namely the chairman of Marvel Entertainment and various health care experts. Spicer did not elaborate on the identity of those health care experts.
Aside from pledging to improve care, the exact reform steps Trump intends to take are still unclear, though he has said in the past that privatization is an option he’s considering carefully.
And yet, his choice for secretary of the VA, David Shulkin, is a noted opponent of privatization and said during his confirmation hearing that while he plans for some serious change at the department, privatization is out of the question.
“There should be no doubt I will seek major reform and accountability, but the Department of Veterans Affairs will not be privatized under my watch,” Shulkin said at his confirmation hearing. “If confirmed, I intend to build a system that puts veterans first and allows them to get the best possible health care and services wherever they may be, in the VA or in the community.”
Many of these same advocacy groups have come out alongside Shulkin in opposition to privatization.
Veterans’ groups will be invited to future sessions, as this first meeting was intended to be just with health care executives, according to Kansas GOP Sen. Jerry Moran.
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