WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), a combat veteran, today met with President Trump's nominee to be Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Dr. David Shulkin.

Following the meeting, Senator Ernst issued this statement:

“Our veterans have made immeasurable sacrifices for our freedom and way of life, and they deserve the quality and timely care they were promised. Unfortunately all too often, our government has not lived up to this promise, resulting in countless veterans who have suffered through long waits, only to receive inadequate care.

“In my meeting with Dr. Shulkin today, I voiced my displeasure with the operation of the VA under the previous administration, and stressed the urgency of immediately correcting the systematic problems at the VA. I told Dr. Shulkin the tragic stories of Iowa veterans who took their own lives after failing to receive timely and quality care at the VA. Cases like these are absolutely unacceptable, and we cannot allow those who selflessly served our nation to fall victim to a flawed system. We must do more to expand patient choice and access, reduce wait times, and improve mental health care.

“The status quo at the VA cannot continue. My questions to Dr. Shulkin today were focused on ensuring he was not part of the problem in his previous VA position, and making sure he had a strategy for the heavy workload ahead if confirmed. I made it clear I want metrics for the American people that show improvement from the VA. We need strong and determined leadership at the VA to start delivering the quality of care to our veterans that we can be proud of. I look forward to continuing to vet Dr. Shulkin for this important position on behalf of those who have selflessly served our nation.”


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