The problems that continue to plague the Veterans Affairs Department are probably the best argument that anyone could make against a single-payer health care system.
As Watchdog’s Eric Boehm and Matt Kittle discuss this week on the Watchdog Podcast, anyone who advocates single-payer, government-run health care has to answer for the systemic problems at the VA, where long waiting lists and bureaucratic incompetence are commonplace. Whistleblowers who try to correct problems have been ignored or, worse, punished for speaking out, and people have literally died because of the lack of accountability in the system.
If this is how a government-run health care system works for America’s veterans, how bad would it be for the average Joe and Jane?
Kittle has seen the mess first-hand, in his extensive coverage of the unfolding crisis at the VA facility in Tomah, Wisconsin, where an investigative report recently exposed wide-ranging painkiller over-prescription, like the “toxic cocktail” believed to have killed a 35-year-old Marine Corps veteran, Jason Simcakoski.
Before he died, Simcakoski tried to get the attention of top VA officials and members of Congress, but no one was listening. People familiar with the Tomah facility have called it “Candy Land” because of the tendency for doctors there to over-prescribe medications.
After a hearing in Tomah this week, Kittle says some members of Congress believe the entire VA system needs to be overhauled, and perhaps even privatized.
We’ll have all the details on the VA scandal — along with our Nanny State of the Week and Picks of the Litter — on this edition of the Watchdog Podcast.