Stefan Sharkansky has an interesting post on why he thinks a single-payer health care system would be a dismal failure. He cites the Veterans Affairs health system as a model.
While his stats on the VA system are almost certainly true, and a damning indictment of that system, I’m not sure it’s a fair model for comparison. The VA isn’t a single-payer system at all. It’s a needs-based “benefit” that some veterans can get if they’re really desperate for treatment. And it’s mainly based at VA hospitals rather than the mainstream health care system.
Stefan’s post is an excellent argument for radical reform, or even elimination, of the current VA system with a privatized model. And it certainly suggests that we shouldn’t base any reform of the health care system on the VA model. It doesn’t necessarily follow that a workable single payer plan couldn’t be created.
(Hat tip: Sean Hackbarth)