Day by Day

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Veterans Health Administration is a failed single-payer system

On Memorial Day I’m writing this to protest the shabby treatment of fellow veterans and to challenge Liberal support for a single-payer health system.

“The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is America’s largest integrated health care system with over 1,700 sites of care, serving 8.76 million Veterans each year.” It is a single-payer system and has often been held up as a model by Obamacare supporters. Paul Krugman, Vouchers for Veterans, The New York Times, November 13, 2011, put down Mitt Romney’s veterans health privatization plan by touting the VHA as a socialized medicine success story.

Two years earlier, another Times columnist, Nicholas Kristof, wrote: “(The VHA) is fully government run, much more ‘socialized medicine’ than is Canadian health care with its private doctors and hospitals. And the system for veterans is by all accounts one of the best-performing and most cost-effective elements in the American medical establishment.”

The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein wrote in 2009 that one of his favorite ideas was expanding VHA to non-veterans, and that the VHA was America’s best-functioning health system.

Nancy Pelosi was quick to blame the emerging VHA scandal on President Bush, speaking as if Democrats had no VHA responsibilities since Bush left office in 2009. 

However, in 2004 the left-leaning Rand Corporation found that: “(T)he VA system delivered higher-quality care than the national sample of private hospitals on all measures except acute care ... In nearly every other respect, VA patients received consistently better care across the board, including screening, diagnosis, treatment, and access to follow-up.”

The Rand Corporation reported that quality improved significantly 2007 to 2009, again during Bush’s presidency.

The VHA, like Obamacare, is another shining example of government incompetently competing with the private sector, and should be privatized. Our veterans deserve better treatment than politicians. 

3 comments:

Peter F.Foley said...

Maybe Congress can issue Purple Hearts/Caskets to those Veterans that made it through the war, but died in line at the VA????

Assign Congress and their staffs to use the closest VA facility ONLY for their Health Care?

Major Combs said...

My son in Eureka has to make a several-day journey to the VA in San Francisco (he can't drive anymore) just to have tests that the Eureka hospital is capable of running. Because of the time and distance, many tests he should have are not done in a timely manner, and effective treatment is delayed for very long periods. He suffers needlessly because the VA where he lives cannot handle his treatment. In his case, going to the closest VA facility still does him no good.

Peter F. Foley said...

Everyone in on the failure chain of command of the VA ought to be sentenced to at least one month of VA only care for every month failure to act to correct the mess. All the way to the White House and the Legislators.

The VA doesn't do video Medicine?
I'm shocked, I'm waiting for the death panel discusions upper level VA planners had had how slowing care saves money for more deserving uses like production bonuses....

Treasurary Secertary said dead vets are a win-win, less spending, More Estate Taxes revenue enhancement...