COMMENTARY | Sen Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma, has issued a report that reveals the full extent of the nightmare that is the Veterans Affairs health care system. In the past decade it has killed 1,000 veterans and has cost the tax payers $1 billion in malpractice awards.
Apparently the problems run far deeper than top secret waiting lists and schedule manipulation to make it seem that the VA is meeting its goals. The quality of care at VA hospitals is just plain poor. The problem is not lack of money.
‘Mr. Coburn traced the problem to bad management and lax working standards, not to lack of money. In one finding, he said VA doctors average about half the workload that private-practice primary care physicians do, suggesting there is room for them to take more patients.”
The president’s defenders can console themselves with the thought that the problems at the VA predate Obama, likely by decades. But liberals, especially those who favor government run health care, should feel a chill to their bones. The VA health care system is the one example of government run as well as government financed health care in the United States and it is systematically killing its patients.
The situation at the VA has parallels to government run health care systems in other countries, such as Great Britain and Canada, which feature bureaucracy, relatively poor patient care, and avoidable suffering and death. Thus it should serve as a warning that informs the ongoing debate on health care reform.
The oft mentioned conspiracy theory is that Obamacare was set up to fail so badly that people will throw up their hands and just accept what the left really wants, which is a single payer, government run health care system. But the VA scandal has rammed home the lesson that government health care has the efficiency of the DMV and the compassion of the IRS. It should be rejected totally and for all time.