Deconstructing Veterans Health Care

Jon C. White | Pain Medicine News | October 25, 2014

...An estimated 80% of the 9 million veterans receiving health care at the VA are satisfied. To cull from this population a minority of dissatisfied people who report negative things about the VA is not responsible investigative reporting; it is just tabloid journalism. Employing sound bites to link “secret lists” to an undocumented number of patient deaths is, at best, disingenuous.

The tenor of this investigation has turned a legitimate conversation about health care access into a media circus. I hope that, after the circus leaves town, calm heads will prevail and we can have a frank discussion about what is good and what is bad about the VA system.

VA health care is an example of entirely socialized medicine, and its successes and failures suggest how elements of socialized medicine might fare were they to be adopted more generally in the United States. Thoughtful observers have already recognized that features of socialism such as medical insurance, Medicare, capitated care, diagnosis-related groups and, more recently, elements of the Affordable Care Act have been introduced into the U.S. health care system over the past 100 years...