What is with the VA (Veteran’s Affairs) Hospitals?

We’ve all heard the horror stories about the VA hospitals and the patients who died while awaiting treatment. How could doctors allow patients to die?

It’s all about wrong-headed priorities and good doctors providing mediocre medicine in a broken system. A system that puts the system above its mission will produce the outcomes we have seen. Bureaucracy runs on the carrot/stick mindset. You show us on paper you are meeting our expectations and we will give you the money to continue what you are doing. Without checks and balances fraud will run the show.

The Military goes through this the end of September (the end of the fiscal year) where they need to spend down what they were allotted, despite not needing it, to get the same amount or more the next year – this leads to waste. We have seen this in the news with different government entities where they gave huge bonuses, wasted money on parties or conferences. We see this with Medicare waste with companies selling the same electric wheelchair (on paper) to hundreds of patients (who never received them) costing Medicare billions of dollars. Fraud and waste exists in government because it polices itself. Medicare Advantage plans show how a different system can work very well. Government pays the bill, but private groups manage the money and if they do a good job, they keep the profit, if not then they have losses and may go out of business. These companies are watched and graded by the government and payment increases are based upon how well they take care of patients – patient satisfaction ratings are part of their evaluation.

Government needs to get out of managing the healthcare system and let private industry do what they are good at, while overseeing the industry and listening to patients. If we allow Government to socialize medicine expect to see more of what we saw with the VA hospitals. Why are they now paying billions to get non-government docs to take care of their patients? If they socialize medicine, there will not be any non-government docs left.

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