Privatize Veteran’s Health Care

The current Veterans Administration waitlist scandal is an unfortunate symptom of a much bigger problem, namely the very high and rapidly increasing cost of providing healthcare to our nation’s veterans.  Especially at a time of huge budget deficits and exploding national debt, all branches of government, including our VA system, must operate more efficiently.
CaptureAs we celebrate Memorial Day and the 70th anniversary of the Normandy Invasion in WWII, this is a good time to contemplate a major restructuring of the VA.  As pointed out two days ago in the Wall Street Journal, “VA’s Budget, and Rolls, Have Boomed”, not only has the number of VA healthcare patient visits increased dramatically from 3.4 million in 2000 to 5.6 million in 2012, but the average annual expenditure per patient has also risen by 62% over the same time period.
The purpose of having a separate healthcare system for veterans is to give them better care than they would otherwise receive.  But the scarcity of resources means that their healthcare is being effectively rationed with longer waiting times.
The situation for veteran’s healthcare is a harbinger of what awaits us for our big government entitlement problems: Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.  For the sake of all recipients, present and future, the rapidly growing costs of these programs must be contained.  There are lots of possible ways to do this.  Our national leaders simply need to take the problem seriously and insist on action.
At the same time it makes no sense to maintain a separate health care system for our nation’s 22 million veterans, only 7% of our total population.  The VA has lots of other responsibilities to take care of anyway: providing life-insurance, mortgage, and housing programs, managing cemeteries, and providing job training, for example.  Veteran’s healthcare could and should be privatized with a voucher system administered by the VA.  It will save billions of dollars for taxpayers and provide better, and timelier, healthcare for our nation’s veterans.

2 thoughts on “Privatize Veteran’s Health Care

  1. Pingback: The VA Healthcare Scandal | PittsburghFlashFictionPittsburghFlashFiction

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