VA nominee withdraws

The Obama administration’s nominee for a top position at the Department of Veterans Affairs has withdrawn his name.

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Jeffrey Murawsky, who was recently nominated for undersecretary for health at the VA, pulled out because he feared his confirmation could spiral into a long political fight over his work as chief executive officer of the Great Lakes VA Health Care System, according to the White House.

As the top administrator for the VA regional office, Murawsky had overseen seven military hospitals and 30 clinics in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan, according to The Associated Press.

One of the hospitals Murawsky was responsible for overseeing was the VA hospital in Hines, Ill., which has been linked to the scandal caused by VA officials using secret lists to hide long waits for appointments.

Murawsky was nominated to replace Robert Petzel, who was forced to step down last month once the scandal broke.

The White House confirmed Thursday it had accepted Murawsky’s withdrawal and said it would convene a review commission to recommend other candidates.

“This position is absolutely critical to ensuring that the problems identified at VHA [Veterans Health Administration] get fixed,” a senior administration official said.

“The president and acting secretary plan to move as quickly as possible to fill the position with the best possible candidate who can ensure that our veterans get the care they have earned and deserve.”

The administration is also looking for a new VA secretary after Eric Shinseki resigned last week. According to reports, the top contender for that post currently is Toby Cosgrove, CEO of the Cleveland Clinic.

Cosgrove has been critical of the Affordable Care Act, however, which could make him an uncomfortable fit for President Obama’s Cabinet.