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Biggs blames lack of VA reform for Shulkin’s ouster

(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)
LISTEN: Andy Biggs, Arizona Congressman

PHOENIX — U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) said Thursday that ousted VA Secretary David Shulkin did not do enough to change the veteran health care system in the United States.

“We want to begin giving vets the best possible care they have and Shulkin, he came from inside so he was was going to protect it, Biggs told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News. “I don’t think he was creative enough, I don’t think he was aggressive enough in trying to make it the best care.”

Biggs, who previously called for Shulkin to resign, said the secretary was difficult to work with at times.

“We had trouble getting meetings,” he said.

However, the congressman said he’s spoken with some who saw positive changes.

“Some people think it’s incrementally better, but it has not dramatically improved,” he said. “They’re not getting the care that they should be getting. That’s a real crime, in my opinion.”

President Donald Trump said Shulkin would be replaced by Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, someone of whom Biggs was optimistic.

“This guy’s going to come in and bring in a fresh attitude, a fresh set of eyes and I think he will be unafraid to clean house,” he said. “Sometimes, that’s what has to happen.”

Jackson has served since 2013 as the Physician to the President, and gained a national profile earlier this year for holding a sweeping press conference on the president’s health.

Robert Wilkie, the current Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness for the Department of Defense, will serve as acting secretary.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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