Krugman: “Yes, this is ‘socialized medicine’…But it works, and suggests what it will take to solve the troubles of US health care more broadly.”
Kristof: It 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.
Klein: the “VA is actually socialized medicine, where the government owns the hospitals and employs the doctors. If you ordered America’s different health systems worst-functioning to best, it would look like this: individual insurance market, employer-based insurance market, Medicare, Veterans Health Administration”
Obama: Make the VA a leader of national health care reform so that veterans get the best care possible.
We all now know how laughable these statements are. At least they did get one thing right: The VA is a model for healthcare — government-run health care.
Money is not the problem. From 2007 to 2012, enrollment in VA services has increased by 13% from 2007 to 2012. At the same time, the VA budget went from $82 million to $125 million — a 53% increase, and the biggest jump in budget history since records go back from 1940. Yet the VA could not deliver quality services to our Veterans.
We see the same scenario with the other major government -run health program: Medicare. It is currently insolvent; Medicare spends roughly 3 times what it takes in and it is only getting worse. There are no cost controls. Even Obama acknowledged this in 2010 when he said, “The major drivers of our long-term liabilities as everyone knows are Medicare and Medicaid, and health care spending.”
Government should not be handling our health systems. The fact that secret waiting lists existed shows just how far the government went to hide their incompetency in running a health system at the very time that Obamacare was being debated both in Congress and then in the public square. If Congress and Americans had known the truth of the condition of the VA health system, it is likely that Obamacare would never have been allowed to become law.