Trump to nominate Acting VA Secretary Wilkie to lead the agency

Veterans affairs sign
President Donald Trump made a "surprise" announcement that he will nominate Acting VA Secretary Robert Wilkie to take the reins as the next secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs. (JeffOnWire CC BY 2.0)

President Donald Trump made a "surprise" announcement that he will nominate Acting VA Secretary Robert Wilkie to take the reins as the next secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Trump made the announcement during a White House summit on prison reform on Friday.

“I'll be informing him in a little while—he doesn’t know this yet—that we're going to be putting his name up for nomination to be Secretary of the Veterans Administration," Trump said. "I’m sorry that I ruined the surprise.”

Free Daily Newsletter

Like this story? Subscribe to FierceHealthcare!

The healthcare sector remains in flux as policy, regulation, technology and trends shape the market. FierceHealthcare subscribers rely on our suite of newsletters as their must-read source for the latest news, analysis and data impacting their world. Sign up today to get healthcare news and updates delivered to your inbox and read on the go.

Wilkie, who is the former Department of Defense undersecretary for personnel and readiness, has overseen the agency since the ouster of VA Secretary David Shulkin in March.
 

RELATED: AMVETS urges Trump to reconsider acting VA secretary choice, appoint deputy secretary instead

The selection comes after Trump's previous pick, White House physician Ronny Jackson, M.D., withdrew his name from consideration. Jackson had been the source of controversy after current and former White House staff alleged that he drank excessively and dispensed medication inappropriately. The claims led the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee to delay Jackson's confirmation hearing.

Jackson said the allegations are "completely false and fabricated."

The pick was not expected to be popular with some veterans groups. Earlier this month, a group of veterans filed a lawsuit saying Trump acted "unlawfully" when he nominated Wilkie to serve as acting VA secretary and passed over Department of Veterans Affairs Deputy Secretary Thomas Bowman for the interim post.

Suggested Articles

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina and Cambia Health Solutions have jointly decided to end their talks to enter a "strategic affiliation."

The Trump administration's new rules to overhaul the Stark Law have some areas that could create major regulatory headaches.

Medicare Part D beneficiaries could see their out-of-pocket costs go up next year before they reach catastrophic coverage, a new analysis shows.