8/20/15

I really do not understand this very unique American fetish. Yes, fetish.

Why in the world should military veterans have a separate heath system?

It is clearly not working. Not only is the care they are getting not better than anyone else’s (not a very high hurdle), it seems to be less efficiently delivered and the cause of numerous scandals, complaints, and huge costs.

Why is it necessary?

Other countries do not have that. Take Israel as an example: the number of veterans in Israel as a percentage of the population vastly exceeds the percentage here in the US. The care they deserve is not any less. Yet no separate system for veteran healthcare exists in Israel.

Like any other bureaucracy, if you try to run two separate systems (one only for veterans and one for the rest of us) it is bound to double the inefficiencies and create lower productivity.

So how about the following:

  • ABOLISH the entire VA health system. Privatize it. Sell all the VA hospitals to private hospital chains, sell it in relatively small bid lots (few hospitals in each one) so as to get the highest number of bidders and thus the best price. I have no way of estimating how much money the government will get but it must be in the tens of billions of $.
  • Abolish the entire VA health administration—that will save few more billions EVERY year.
  • Upon discharge from the military, provide each veteran with two options. Whatever option he/she chooses will prevail for the rest of their lives.
    • Option one: the government will provide you with health insurance (as opposed to care) for the rest of your life. It will be quality health coverage and will remain effective throughout his/her life. It will not be a “Cadillac” health plan, but it will be a good average and above. The government can bid out this health insurance program every few years and make sure that it remains competitive.
    • Option two: you get a fixed amount of cash every year, linked to the inflation (possibly link it to medical costs inflation instead) and you can do what you want with this money, but never come back at the government for your health needs. Of course, the amount will be equal to the prevailing cost of the insurance in option one at the time of discharge.

Veterans will become normal healthcare consumers able to get treatment in all facilities and hospitals around the country.

The savings for the government will be huge and the treatment quality will improve.

Is that not a very simple, yet revolutionary, solution?

Why is it that ZERO of the numerous presidential contenders have the courage and logical thinking to offer it?