To know more about socialized medicine—and our future under Obamacare—check out the Department of Veterans’ Affairs health care scandals. The scandals encompass service failure, egregious cost overruns and delays, and basic failures (such as blood test mixups) that would be comical if not so dangerous.
Obviously, the U.S. Government and the American public owe a debt to our military veterans, but socialized medicine is a poor way to discharge it. Vets are entitled to the best we can offer, not to Soviet-style incompetence.
And the underlying situation is probably far worse than the scandals we know about. Among the bad things I became familiar with when working in socialized institutions (in my case, state universities) were the inefficiencies—not exactly corrupt, but stupid and expensive for the taxpayers—that persist year after year without any outsiders taking notice. In private companies, most of those inefficiencies would dissolve before the demands of market competition. In socialized institutions, they go on and on . . . and on.
The idea that the government has to own facilities in order to provide services is a discredited relic of the past. Other government health services—including Medicare and Medicaid—allow patients to visit private facilities and use private physicians. Great Britain began its government health care system with the socialized delivery model, but has largely abandoned it.
Unfortunately, under Obamacare we are likely to see more socialism rather than less. The problems with the government-run “exchanges” represent only the beginning.
Under pressure of the VA scandals, the Obama administration is permitting vets to opt for free market providers, but the question remains, “Why is it necessary for the government to directly own health care facilities at all?