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May 22, 2014

Krugman, Kristof, and Klein All Praised the "Success" of the VA's Socialized Medicine Model

PolitiFact rates their hackery: Glittery with Truth.

here are some pretty big names on that list. Paul Krugman in 2011 wrote of the VA’s “huge success story”:
Multiple surveys have found the VHA providing better care than most Americans receive, even as the agency has held cost increases well below those facing Medicare and private insurers…the VHA is an integrated system, which provides health care as well as paying for it. So it’s free from the perverse incentives created when doctors and hospitals profit from expensive tests and procedures, whether or not those procedures actually make medical sense.

Krugman added, “Yes, this is ‘socialized medicine’…But it works, and suggests what it will take to solve the troubles of US health care more broadly.”

"Multiple surveys have found..." Well that's well and good, until you find out the VA was systematically gaming the paperwork in order to make their services look better than they really were.

This is ultimately the problem, of course: It is not a bureaucrat's actual job to provide good service to the client; his actual job is to appear to his superiors that he's providing good service to the client.

Actually, this is everyone's real job, of course.

But in a system in which there is only one vendor, where there is an established government monopoly, the bureaucrat is free to game the system in ways in which a private vendor could not.

The private vendor would ultimately be fired if he continued only working to make it appear on paperwork that he'd done a good job. The actual client would know the truth of it, and quit the service.

And eventually enough customers would quit, and the management of the private firm would start to wonder why they were getting so many complaints and terminations, and would eventually work to fix it. (Or, of course: They'd go bankrupt.)

But that can't happen when the Government is the only game in town.

The left likes to talk about the David vs. Goliath nature of a citizen being abused by a large and powerful corporation. The corporation has endless resources and personnel; the individual in conflict with the corporation has rather less.

That's true, of course.

But the stupidity of the left is its abject refusal to see that The Government is a corporation, and is in fact the most powerful, richest, and most heavily armed corporation in the history of the world.

The left endlessly rages against misbehaving corporations with one-one thousandth of the resources of the government, and of course none of the government's armed agents and prison wardens, and endlessly fights to take power out of the hands of the misbehaving, selfishly-motivated unarmed corporation... and put that power into the hands of the misbehaving, selfishly-motivated armed corporation.

They're never quite able to understand this: The conservative preference for power in private hands isn't that we love big, unaccountable, guild-agenda-serving corporations.

It's that the alternative ever proposed by the left is just an even bigger, more unaccountable, more guild-agenda-serving corporation called the US Government.

And you can't quit the US Government without quitting the the United States itself.


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posted by Ace at 04:49 PM

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