Vouchers a Better Way than the VA

The VA hospitals and their subpar medical care isn’t a new debate. The only revelation is that now we have documented cases of veterans actually dying from lack of care.

The VA system has always been a mess. It can’t help but be. It’s after all, run by the government, and we all know that the government can’t run anything properly or efficiently. And I do mean anything – including the military.

And couple the natural failures of the bureaucracy with a military loathing administration, full of 1960s radicals, and this is what we end up with. Garbage in – Garbage out. It’s not hard to forecast.

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The funny thing is that not too long ago the VA system was touted as being “great” and an example of what general government healthcare (Obamacare) can be.

In 2005 an article was published by Philip Longman entitled “The Best Care Anywhere.” It was a defense of the VA medical system.

Many socialized medicine advocates pointed to this article as proof that a government run health system was superior to a private system, where patients are free to shop around.

Longman wrote: “Who do you think receives higher-quality healthcare? Medicare patients who are free to pick their own doctors … or aging veterans?” His claim was that the “socialist” VA system was proven to be superior.

He then goes on to cite a 2003 study of diabetes where apparently those at the VA fared better than Medicare patients. You notice he didn’t really compare the VA to the “private sector.” He compared one government run program to another.

Yes, Medicare patients are free to choose their own doctors – providing the doctor is willing to take Medicare, and increasingly that is not the case. But Medicare is still a single-payer government insurance plan. It in no way resembles private healthcare. Heck, even “private healthcare” doesn’t resemble real private healthcare.

There is of course, a better way. A few years ago someone actually did offer a solution to the VA Medical Center problems. He’s a nice fella. Not particularly conservative. Some (me) would even call him part of the establishment, which he is.

But Mitt Romney of Romneycare fame, in 2011, had a radical idea.

“Sometimes you wonder, would there be some way to introduce some private sector competition, somebody else that could come in and say, you know each soldier gets X thousand dollars attributed to them and then they can choose whether they want to go on the government system or the private system and then it follows them, like what happens with schools in Florida where they have a voucher that follows them, who knows.”

What a radical idea – what a radical and wonderful idea! But that would mean the government would lose control, and that just can’t happen.

Naturally, all the leftists mocked him as being a heretic. Some even cited that aforementioned Longman article as the case (the one and only) against it. They called Romney’s idea a “harebrained” scheme and stated that “socialize healthcare that provides high-quality care with excellent outcomes, and does it far less expensively than private systems” is the only way to go.

That was only three years ago. What are they saying now? Are they still touting the superior “socialized” system or are the advocates strangely silent?

How many more examples of government incompetence and corruption do we need before people stand up against it? The NSA, IRS, EPA, BLM, the State Department and now the VA.

Hopefully this is the straw that breaks the progressive camel’s back. Something sure has to be done.

We’re already losing our World War II vets too quickly. They don’t need any help. We’re all going to die. The shame is in how some of the men and women who put their lives on the line in defense of our nation are dying.

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