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2018 was a big election year in Ohio. Republicans held onto all five statewide executive offices including governor and super majorities in both the Ohio House and Senate. But there were a few bright spots for Democrats, among them the reelection of U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown and the election of two Democrats to the Ohio Supreme Court.With election 2018 over, the focus now shifts to governing. Stay connected with the latest on politics, policies and people making the decisions at all levels affecting your lives.

Ohio Sen. Brown Sees Problems With the VA, but Not the Trump Narrative of Failure

photo of Sherrod Brown

  Donald Trump laid out a 10-point plan this week to make major changes to what he calls “a very unfair system” – the VA. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has the reaction from the Ohio senator who sits on the committee overseeing the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Trump says he would replace VA Secretary Robert McDonald – the Cincinnati CEO who came over from business – with someone who is “not a political hack.” He also pledges to increase access to private medical care, and weed out bad VA employees and reward good ones.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown says he didn’t hear Trump’s speech, but thinks Republicans are ignoring improvements.

“What gets in the way here is ideological right-wing politicians who just want to privatize, privatize, privatize -- and use it as political talking points that, because this is government-delivered healthcare --  it is a failure when it absolutely isn’t a failure. And the VA has done a very good job for most veterans. Not good enough. We’ve got to keep working on these problems.” 

Trump’s plan also includes reforms already enacted by Congress. 

M.L. Schultze is a freelance journalist. She spent 25 years at The Repository in Canton where she was managing editor for nearly a decade, then served as WKSU's news director and digital editor until her retirement.