This afternoon the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee will hold its nomination hearing for Robert Wilke to be the new VA Secretary.  The challenges facing whoever becomes the next VA secretary are many and they are wicked. Among the most challenging issues the new secretary will face is the requirement to manage the political environment around the idea of increasing the privatization of veteran healthcare.  (Recently the term “privatization” has fallen out of the lexicon in favor of a more focus-group approved term, “community care”.)

When the president fired the head of the Department of Veterans Affairs in March the overriding cause appeared to be that Secretary Shulkin was not moving fast enough to increase private options for veteran healthcare.

To be fair, that criticism was accurate.