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Saturday, August 04, 2012

Socialized Medicine in the US

Uwe Reinhardt has a dare for "presidential candidates professing a distaste for socialized medicine":

Where ‘Socialized Medicine’ Has a U.S. Foothold, by Uwe E. Reinhardt: Last Friday’s exuberant celebration of Britain’s National Health Service during the opening ceremony for the 2012 Olympics ... elicited ... stern rebukes from the commentariat in the United States, most vehemently by Rush Limbaugh. Bashing the N.H.S. has become a favorite ritual during any debate on health care reform on this side of the Atlantic. ...
Remarkably, Americans of all political stripes have long reserved for our veterans the purest form of socialized medicine, the vast health system operated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs... If socialized medicine is as bad as so many on this side of the Atlantic claim, why have both political parties ruling this land deemed socialized medicine the best health system for military veterans? Or do they just not care about them?” ...
Occasionally one does come across an American politician who mutters something about privatizing the V.A. health system. I doubt this idea would have much political traction... In fact, I would dare presidential candidates professing a distaste for socialized medicine to call openly for abolition of the V.A. health system in favor of a purely privatized system – e.g., a defined contribution system such as that advocated for Medicare by Representative Paul D. Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin...
So far I have not received a satisfactory answer from detractors of “socialized medicine” to my question of why we have the V.A. health system when socialized medicine putatively is so evil. Perhaps some commentators ... will enlighten me.
Before responding, however, readers might consider these readings...: a book by Phillip Longman, “The Best Care Anywhere: Why V.A. Health Care Is Better Than Yours”; an article on V.A. health care in the American Medical Association’s amednews.com, and, finally, from the Rand Corporation’s nationally recognized team of experts on the quality of health care in the United States this eye-opening report.

    Posted by on Saturday, August 4, 2012 at 10:19 AM in Economics, Health Care, Politics | Permalink  Comments (54)


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