Monday, March 05, 2007


You probably haven't been following this story carefully. Perhaps you should. An investigative reporting team from The Washington Post investigated conditions at the Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington .. particularly the outpatient facilities. What they found was deplorable. There was mold, there were rats, and there was no small amount of grime and filth. Our injured soldiers were waiting interminable lengths of time for the most basic services. In short, the place was a mess. In the aftermath of the investigation the General in charge of Walter Reed resigned .... followed by the Secretary of the Army. Let's dispense with the PC language here. They didn't resign. They were fired. The American people won't tolerate this type of shabby treatment for our injured soldiers.

President Bush is going to appoint a commission to investigate all of this. Whoopee. Another government commission. Can't wait.

While they're cleaning up this mess at Walter Reed ... here's what you need to know. This treatment that was being delivered to our injured soldiers is the future of your health care. This is what you, if you're somewhat young, and most certainly your children have to deal with as the United States moves inexorably toward socialized medicine. Government health care.

A recent poll shows that three-fourths of all Americans want Universal Health Insurance. That's right .... the people conducting the poll actually capitalized Universal Health Insurance.

Let's dispel something right now. It's not insurance these people want, it's a medical payment plan. The purpose of insurance is to reimburse you for unexpected losses. The cost of regular health care, and this includes the normal costs associated with a pregnancy, are not unexpected. We should budget for these costs just as we would budget for the expenses of owning a home or a car.

No .. it's not health insurance the American people want. What they truly want is for someone else to step forward to foot the bill. Their goal is to pay about $500 out of their own pockets every year, and then have someone else, either their employer or the taxpayers, be responsible for everything else. Another recent survey revealed that young Americans would rather pay their cell phone bill than use that money to buy insurance. These young workers said that they will just wait to get health insurance until they get a job where it is included in a benefits package. In other words, they make a conscious decision not to get health insurance ... and then fully expect the taxpayers to step up and fill in the financial gaps if anything serious happens.

The American people are going to get what they're asking for. Socialized medicine is inevitable in the U.S. The politicians want it because of the degree of power it will give them over the lives of their constituents. The people want it because they have been programmed to believe that their health care is the responsibility of either their employer or the government.

It's coming ... and it's going to be ugly as hell. The long waits for simple diagnostic tests that have become commonplace in Canada will become the norm here. It may come to the point ... most likely it will come to the point that you will be assigned to a doctor just as your child is assigned to a school. Remember Hillarycare? Under that system if you decided to take your own money and go hire your own doctor outside of the Hillarycare scheme (somewhat like taking your child out of a government school and putting him in a private school) you could be charged with a crime. It may be necessary to adopt that policy again after people discover what a disaster their precious "universal health care" is going to be.

Take a look at Walter Reed. Go visit your local Veterans Hospital. Check out a Social Security office. It's coming folks. You asked for it. You couldn't handle the responsibility yourself, and the politicians damned sure weren't going to present you with private sector free market options unless you demanded them.

Oh .. and by the way. That "universal health care" tag? That's just something the left came up with to avoid using the S-word. Socialist.



The Washington Post is back today with another story about the pitfalls of the military health care system. Like I said when the WaPo series was launched, these failures are damnable--and nothing new. David Bernstein at The Volokh Conspiracy adds:

If private companies had mismanaged outpatient care for veterans the way the V.A. system has, there would be strong calls from all the usual quarters for a government takeover, and proclamations of how we can't trust "greedy" for-profit companies to take care of veterans. Funny how this thought process doesn't seem to work in reverse, except among "free market ideologues," who have been criticizing the V.A. for years.

Will the Bush-bashers join with free-market critics to effect real change and help the troops who need and deserve better care?

We'll see.


Taking care of the troops
Milbloggers on WaPo series: Broken system, biased report