President-elect Donald Trump still hasn’t decided on a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) secretary, but the person he met with Thursday about the agency is an Obamacare booster, Hillary Clinton donor and Obama administration political appointee.
Trump met with Nancy Schlichting, retired CEO of the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, on Thursday, and Modern Healthcare reported that it was because he was considering her for the cabinet post.
Just after the election, she warned against repealing Obamacare, saying it was great and implying Trump was racist. Obamacare “did a lot. We have the lowest increase in Medicare costs in history. We have a diverse population and they can be debilitated by comments made about them” during the campaign by Trump, Schlichting previously said, according to Crain’s Detroit Business.
Wednesday’s gathering was a strange meeting since Trump has been known to hold grudges against those who opposed him, has said the VA needs to fire many bad employees and Obamacare should be repealed and replaced.
Schlichting has donated thousands of dollars to Democrats in recent years, including backing Clinton in July 2015. President Barack Obama appointed her in 2015 to head the Commission on Care, which wrote a report advising the president on possible VA changes.
Crain’s reported that after the meeting, a former colleague of Schlichting’s said that although she was invited to talk about the top job, she did not want a full-time position and used the meeting to advocate for the report’s findings.
Numerous private sector health executives have now withdrawn from consideration. Not much has been heard about whether two people who are most familiar with the problems wracking VA — former Rep. Jeff Miller, the Florida Republican who was chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee from 2011 to 2016, and veterans advocate Pete Hegseth, who appears frequently on Fox News — remain under consideration.
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