Next time someone argues for government-run healthcare, these two words should quickly deflate the conversation: Veterans Administration.
If you follow the news, the first thing those two words likely conjure up is “scandal” — rooted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of veterans who died under its care.
Wait times for care that veterans are entitled to are notoriously long, despite the fact that VA funding increases every year. Some VA workers reported being told to falsify records to make wait times appear shorter than they actually were. Money isn’t the issue, government incompetence is.
So here’s the thing: the VA is socialized medicine. The VA scandal didn’t make news until 2014 – and you bet liberals were praising it’s “successes” before it’s flaws were brought to light.
In 2011, liberal economist Paul Krugman wrote in the New York Times: What Mr. Romney and everyone else should know is that the V.H.A. is a huge policy success story, which offers important lessons for future health reform. And yes, this is “socialized medicine” — although some private systems, like Kaiser Permanente, share many of the V.H.A.’s virtues. But it works — and suggests what it will take to solve the troubles of U.S. health care more broadly.
I’m sure the 300,000 veterans who’ve died waiting for care beg to differ.
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]