Approval for Shulkin down among younger vets

Jonathan Kaupanger
March 15, 2018 - 2:51 pm

Photo by Roberto Koltun/Miami Herald/TNS/Sipa USA


Less than a quarter of post-9/11 military members and veterans actually approve of the job VA Secretary David Shulkin is doing. This comes from a new poll conducted by the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. 

When asked to rate Shulkin’s performance after one year on the job, only 4 percent responded that they strongly approve and 20 percent said they approve of what the Secretary has done. Compared to those who either disapprove (23 percent) or strongly disapprove (18 percent), the secretary is very much underwater with his approval. 

Last year, 36 percent of IAVA members supported Shulkin’s nomination to become VA Secretary. 23 percent did not support Shulkin and 41 percent had no opinion in the matter. If nothing else, more IAVA members have an opinion on Shulkin than a year ago as only 33 percent are not sure of the Secretary’s performance.

The other questions in the poll were about leadership. On a national level, only 14 percent responded positively about VA leadership but more than half, 55 percent, said that they did not trust the national VA leadership. 

When asked about their local Veterans Affairs leadership, the positive number grew slightly with 29 percent of IAVA members saying they did trust their local VA. Fourty-two percent, however, said that they didn’t trust local leadership.

For its part, VA is in the process of conducting a survey of VA Health Care. The agency is collecting information from a random selection of 42,000 veterans. Selected veterans will receive a letter that gives information about the survey. They can then go online and answer questions or respond via mail or phone. 

The last survey like this by VA happened in 2015. You can read the results here.