Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day Reflection - Socialized Medicine for Veterans

As we reflect on the service of Americans who gave their lives in war this Memorial Day, I also reflect on the care given those who sacrificed a great deal and must now depend upon the Veterans Administration to treat their service related injuries.  You can read for yourself about the scandal of longer and longer wait times; and the lying about those facts.  Boiled down to its essentials, the scandal is about rationing care through wait times and lying about rationing care and those same wait times.  Bernie Sanders, self avowed socialist and chair of the Senate VA committee, essentially admitted to the first part by saying that there weren't enough resources to provide care.  News flash - When the Government provides goods and services we always seem to run out.

This goes to the heart of the larger issue.  Democrats have always claimed they were the party you should elect to run government competently.  But the government has grown so vast and complex, it is impossible to do so.  Obama's surprise at finding each new scandal in his administration is almost understandable, given the federal government's vast size. But the solution must come from getting government smaller, and definitely shedding its role as direct provider of services.

With regards to veterans, we clearly need to provide them with insurance alternatives to allow them to make use of private sector medicine.  They deserve to be freed of the incompetent monopoly provisioning of health care by the federal government. John McCain has said that he will make such a proposal.  Count on the left to oppose this move.  They have touted the VA as a model for single payer in the past.  To allow out-sourcing would undermine their arguments for socialized medicine, as Krugman calls the VA system in the linked article. gives a great synopsis what passes for "success" in the VA's socialized medical system.
How could a bloated government bureaucracy achieve such low-cost success? As we found out recently, it's by quietly sticking veterans on a waiting list and putting off their treatment for months—sometimes until the patients are far too dead to need much in the way of expensive care. Which is to say, calling it a "success" is stretching the meaning of the word beyond recognition.
On this Memorial Day, although a time for reflection about those who have died; we should support the living veterans as well, by prising their health care from the monopoly of the federal government.

What You Should Be Reading
  • KTCat equates moral relativism Houston Astro fandom.  Read it, it makes sense.
  • Left Coast Rebel has great hashtag for Obama on the VA scandal.
  • For Memorial Day, I am embedding one of the greatest speeches for the occasion ever given, by Ronald Reagan, of course. (The text of a different but great speech here.)

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