Another scandal and, once again, Barack Obama is shocked and saddened by the tragic VA mess. And what action does our outraged president take? He lets go—indeed he does—the VA health official who was already scheduled to retire in less than a month. The VA currently allocates around $10,000 per year, per veteran. Charles Krauthammer ask, in NRO (here) and the WSJ (here), why veterans can’t receive vouchers that allow them to receive subsidized care from private providers.
“If you’re not ideological, and if you brought in some expert and asked how to attack the problem right now, you would decide to give everyone on the list a voucher to go anywhere they want, and they’ll get their care within days,” he said.
The VA’s currently yearly budget allocates around $10,000 per veteran. The Obama administration could fix the problem by doling out vouchers for veterans to purchase private insurance, “but an administration like this would not even contemplate that.”
Krauthammer ask that if the VA’s problems stem from the drawbacks of a government-run system, “why wouldn’t you contemplate voucherizing and privatizing?”
House Republicans on Wednesday passed legislation to streamline dismissal for malfeasant VA staff and are calling for Mr. Shinseki’s head. Yet rearranging the deck chairs won’t fix the VA’s core problem, which is that a government-run system inevitably leads to wait lists and reduced access to quality care.
The modern VA is a vestige of the flood of veterans coming out of World Wars I and II, but it is as unnecessary as a health-care system dedicated solely to police or firefighters. The best solution is to privatize the system. At the very least veterans ought to receive vouchers that allow them to seek subsidized care from private providers that removes the VA as the choke point. Why are politicians punishing veterans with inferior government health care?
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