President Donald J. Trump was justified in firing Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin this week, Dan Ball, a Republican congressional candidate, told Uken Report.
Ball, who lives in Palm Desert, is one of five Republicans hoping to unseat Democratic incumbent, Congressman Dr. Raul Ruiz for the 36th Congressional District seat.
In the wake of Shulkin’s firing, Uken Report reached out to half of the candidates for timely comment. Ball was the only one to respond.
Ruiz and Doug Hassett, one of the five GOP challengers, did not respond.
In 2017, Shulkin became the 9th United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs. On March 28, 2018, President Trump dismissed Shulkin from his position and announced that Physician to the President Ronny Jackson would be nominated to be Shulkin’s successor.
VA operates the nation’s largest integrated health care system, with more than 1,700 hospitals, clinics, community living centers, readjustment counseling centers, and other facilities.
“As the only veteran in the race … I’ve made taking care of, and providing for, our veterans a top priority of my campaign and will continue that mission once elected in November,” Ball told Uken Report. “Under the last administration we saw hundreds of millions of dollars dedicated to the VA system and, yet, we still hear horror stories from veterans waiting days, weeks, even months for the care they so desperately need. This is absolutely unacceptable.”
A recent report by the VA’s inspector general found “serious dereliction’s of duty” by Secretary Shulkin, Ball said. In addition the inspector discovered that during a trip to Europe last year on the taxpayers’ dime, Shulkin spent most of the time sightseeing and attending the Wimbledon tennis tournament.
“He, like many elected officials, continues to show their disregard and disrespect for taxpayers and our veterans. With these revelations I feel that the President’s decision to fire him was justified. We need to fix the VA once and for all. Our heroes deserve better.”
Once elected, Ball, an U.S. Air Force veteran, said he will not use the “Cadillac” health care plan that members of Congress use. “Why should Congress receive better care than our veterans?”
Instead, he will opt to use the VA system. The reasoning behind his decision is simple, Ball said, to set an example of public service.
“Service before self is what being a public servant is supposed to be about,” Ball said. “I guess Secretary Shulkin forgot that rule.”