U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown said he will fight to stop the potential privatization of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Speaking Friday with local veterans at the Mahoning County Veterans Service Commission, Brown called on the President Donald Trump Administration to nominate someone to head the Department of Veterans Affairs who has earned the support of veterans groups and will refuse to privatize the VA.

“Millions of American veterans depend on VA for health care and benefits, and they deserve a strong leader at the top who will stand up to political pressures and work every day to improve care for them,” said Brown, a Cleveland Democrat.

Brown said, “It’s clear that when government privatizes” it “doesn’t work,” and that’s why “every veterans organization out there opposes privatization because they know the bottom line will be profits not service to veterans. It’s a bad, bad idea.”

David Shulkin, fired by the Trump administration in March as VA secretary, said he was removed because he opposed privatizing the department.

In a March 28 column in The New York Times, Shulkin wrote that “successes within the department have intensified the ambitions of people who want to put VA health care in the hands of the private sector. I believe differences in philosophy deserve robust debate, and solutions should be determined based on the merits of the arguments. The advocates within the administration for privatizing VA health services, however, reject this approach. They saw me as an obstacle to privatization who had to be removed.”

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