Ohio's U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown hasn’t decided whether he will vote to confirm President Trump’s nominee for VA secretary. The Ohio Democrat sits on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs committee, which could hold hearings on Dr. Ronny Jackson’s nomination as early as next week.
In his meeting with Jackson, Brown says he encouraged the VA nominee to oppose health care privatization, which would outsource more veteran care into the private sector.
The VA has relied on some level of community care to help treat its 9 million members, mainly to cut down on long wait times and provide care for vets who don't have easy access to a VA facility. But Brown says a push for more privatization would ultimately harm veterans. "We know we have work to do to improve the VA, but privatizing isn’t the answer. It would deprive veterans of the best possible care, it would hurt employees of the VA, and it would line the pockets of private corporations." Brown noted that Jackson agreed to oppose privatization in their meeting. The VA provides veteran care at some 1,240 health care facilities in the U.S., including more than 40 in Ohio.