It was announced that President Barack Obama will nominate Bob McDonald to be the next Secretary of the Veterans’ Administration. Mr. McDonald is a West Point graduate, had served in the Army for five years and had also been the CEO of Procter & Gamble.
Let me repeat two points, about the role of the VA Secretary, which I had made before in a prior Blog Post, linked as follows: https://thetruthoncommonsense.com/2014/06/01/do-we-really-need-a-separate-va-health-care-system/. Veterans might be better-served if the current VA Health Care System were combined with the Private Health Care System, which operates side-by-side with it. Also, given the various facets of the VA Secretary’s role, and supervision of Health Care Facilities, if they are retained at VA, should be delegated to a top-level deputy who has considerable health care administration experience.
Now, don’t get excited about a potential thaw between the Republicans and President Barack Obama. Keep in mind that P & G’s Headquarters is in Cincinnati, Ohio; so it’s no wonder that Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Senator John Portman (R-OH) have endorsed one of the former key executives in their home state. A linked article, from the Washington Post, is as follows: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/bob-mcdonald-former-pandg-chief-to-be-obamas-nominee-to-lead-veterans-affairs/2014/06/29/2fddd794-ffab-11e3-b8ff-89afd3fad6bd_story.html?wpisrc=nl_politics.
Previously, former Generals or Men with Health Care backgrounds had been appointed to head the VA. At the moment, however, Real Leadership is what is needed. Military Leadership tends to be autocratic, with the General telling everyone else what to do. But, a VA Secretary must work within a multi-faceted environment, which a former Corporate Executive, who had to work both Inside and Outside the Organization, might be in a better position to provide that Leadership.
Likewise, with some 1,700 VA Health Care Systems, it is truly extensive enough that a full-time Health Care Administrator, operating at the Top Echelon of the VA, is definitely the way to delegate the various day-to-day executive functions of those Facilities. Also, Sloan Gibson, the Acting VA Secretary, a classmate of McDonald’s at West Point, is expected to remain as a Deputy Secretary at the VA.