President-elect Donald Trump last week met with a group of healthcare leaders that included Cleveland Clinic President and CEO Dr. Toby Cosgrove—a rumored pick to lead the Veterans Affairs Department.
The day after the meeting, officials of the transition team said Trump is considering privatizing healthcare for veterans, something vehemently opposed by some veterans' groups because they believe the move would ostensibly close down the VA.
Trump thinks the move will give veterans more choice to determine whether they get healthcare at a VA facility or a private provider.
“Under a Trump Administration, no veteran will die waiting for service,” Trump said in his campaign plan for the VA, alluding to the wait-time scandal a few years ago. VA officials were accused of covering up inordinate wait times that some patient advocacy groups blamed for the deaths of veterans.
Mayo Clinic President and CEO Dr. John Noseworthy, Partners HealthCare President and CEO Dr. David Torchiana, and Johns Hopkins Medicine CEO Dr. Paul Rothman were also at the meeting with Trump.
According to several news reports, in addition to overhauling the VA system, the executives discussed ways to improve overall healthcare quality and affordability.