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Dr. David Shulkin is the new VA secretary: 5 things to know

The Senate confirmed David Shulkin, MD, as the Department of Veterans Affairs' secretary on Feb. 13, 2017, USA Today reports.

Here are five things to know:

1. Dr. Shulkin has been the VA undersecretary of health since 2015.

2. The Senate voted unanimously in favor of Dr. Shulkin, unlike the Trump administration's other cabinet picks. Last week, Rep. Tom Price, MD, (R-Ga.), won approval for HHS secretary in a 52-to-47 vote, in which no Democrats voted in favor of Rep. Price.

3. As secretary, Dr. Shulkin plans to keep his promise and not privatize the VA, saying, "There will be far greater accountability, dramatically improved access, responsiveness and expanded care options. But the Department of Veterans Affairs will not be privatized under my watch."

4. Throughout his presidential campaign, President Donald Trump referred to the VA as a "disaster" and said he planned to give all veterans the option for private healthcare, although Trump made no promise to privatize healthcare.

5. In a separate hearing earlier this month, Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) asked Dr. Shulkin if President Trump said Dr. Shulkin had to agree to preconditions about privatizing veterans' healthcare before taking the offer, to which Dr. Shulkin said there were no preconditions and "He [Trump] knows I would have to follow my values."

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