Saturday, August 29, 2009
Why We Need Government-Run Universal Socialized Health Insurance
Every time I read about a Teabagger ranting about how socialized medicine will destroy this country I think of the VA system. There it is, a huge and vastly important universal healthcare system—government run, single payer and therefore socialist—right here in the brave and privatized United States: The Veterans Affairs hospitals. If you've served in the military, you can go to the VA. If it's within five years of your last active duty service, or you have injuries related to your service, you can go and get healthcare pretty much for free.
Objectively, our present system is a complete and abject failure. Compared to every other industrialized nation, we spend more and get less from our healthcare system. Even for those who claim that the US is exceptional, the VA provides an example of another (and better) way to do things.
Let's recap: the United States spends about twice as much on healthcare as any other developed nation in the world and in return receives just about the worst care. Can someone remind me again why there's even a debate about whether we should put up with this?