The former VA secretary describes his fight to save health care from politics and money-and how it was ultimately derailed by a small group of unelected officials with influence in the Trump White House.
Known in health care circles for his ability to fix ailing hospitals, Dr. David Shulkin was originally brought into government by President Obama, in an attempt to save the broken Department of Veterans Affairs. When President Trump made him VA secretary, Dr. Shulkin was as shocked as anyone.
Yet this surprise was trivial compared to what Shulkin encountered as the VA secretary: a team of political appointees devoted to stopping anyone — including the secretary himself — who stood in the way of privatizing the organization and implementing their agenda. In this uninhibited memoir, Shulkin opens up about why the government has long struggled to get good medical care to military veterans and the plan he had for how to address these problems. This is a book about the commitment we make to the people who risk their lives for our country, how and why we’ve failed to honor it, and why the new administration may be taking us in the wrong direction.
The Honorable David Shulkin, M.D. joined the Department of Veterans Affairs in 2015, first as Under Secretary for Health and then as the ninth Secretary of Veterans Affairs. He was the only Obama holdover who served in the Cabinet within the Trump administration and the only one unanimously confirmed by the Senate. Prior to his government service, Shulkin worked in a number of health care administration roles, including as President and CEO of New York’s Beth Israel Medical Center and President of Morristown Medical Center in New Jersey. He is the Distinguished Health Policy Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, practices internal medicine in New York City, and still advocates on behalf of veterans.