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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin today released the following statement on her support for the confirmation of Dr. David Shulkin to be Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Dr. Shulkin currently serves as Under Secretary of Health for the VA and his confirmation vote will take place in the Senate on Monday night.
“I will vote for Dr. Shulkin because I am confident he shares my commitment to make sure the VA is providing our nation’s veterans and their families the high quality care they have earned. I will continue my work in the Senate holding the VA accountable and I believe that Dr. Shulkin is someone I can continue working with to fix problems and put solutions in place to improve services and care for our veterans,” said Senator Baldwin. “I have worked across party lines to advance reforms that will improve the transparency of VA Office of Inspector General reports, strengthen protections for whistleblowers and provide stronger oversight of the VA’s prescribing practices. But we still have more work to do. Dr. Shulkin has the experience and qualifications to provide the leadership necessary to get the job done and keep the sacred trust we have with our veterans and their families.”
Last year, Senator Baldwin worked to pass bipartisan VA reforms named in honor of Wisconsin Marine veteran Jason Simcakoski. The Jason Simcakoski Memorial and Promise Act, signed into law by President Obama as part of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, will strengthen the Department of Veterans Affairs’ opioid prescribing guidelines and put in place stronger oversight and accountability for the quality of care that we are providing our veterans. In addition to improving opioid therapy and pain management, the Jason Simcakoski Memorial and Promise Act strengthens the VA’s patient advocacy program by ensuring advocates are independent and truly work for veterans, expands access to complementary and integrative health and wellness, and enhances VA hiring practices to help prevent bad doctors from treating veterans.
Senator Baldwin’s bipartisan legislation gained support from: Disabled American Veterans Wisconsin, Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), The American Legion, Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), Veterans for Common Sense, Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), Association of the United States Navy (AUSN), Military Health Project, National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS), Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), American Veterans (AMVETS), Military Order of the Purple Heart, American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the Wisconsin Medical Society, Trust for America’s Health (TFAH), Harm Reduction Coalition and the National Safety Council.
An online version of this release is available here.