Oops! Paul Krugman, Uwe Reinhardt, Nicholas Kristof, RAND Corporation All Praised the Veterans Health Administration

Ben Shapiro (Truth Revolt) has posted a list of recent quotations from leading public intellectuals cheerleading the VHA as a model of a well-functioning health system. Here’s former Enron adviser Paul Krugman in 2011:

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.

Comments (12)

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  1. P. Sherman says:

    Even if the VHA was providing better care than what most Americans receive, there were still so many flaws in the system that no veterans were getting access to such “stellar” care.

  2. Matthew says:

    “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.””

    Unless it’s Krugman’s suggestion is to “cook the books” and mask wait times, it’s quite evident that no, it does not work.

    • James M. says:

      The care was not even halfway to being adequate, such blind support for the care the VA model provided veterans is disappointing coming from a name such as Krugman’s.

  3. Bill B. says:

    “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?”

    After what has been released concerning the VA, some would argue that it is the latter.

  4. Buddy says:

    This just goes to show how opinions and advocating policies can change in a matter of a couple years. I challenge the basis as to why they are deemed “health care experts.”

    • Chaz says:

      They generally base recommendations on information that is available from surveys and financial data. When the data looks good, policy experts form opinions. When it turns out that the data has been manipulated, its easy to turn blame upon its former advocates.

  5. SPM says:

    My bet is that even with the recent scandals coming to light, liberals will always advocate for more government intervention, regardless of the outcomes.

    That Paul Krugman is wrong is nothing new. He claims that socialized medicine rids the medical world of perverse incentives…yet, he ignores the obvious perverse incentive of the government having to ration care in order to control costs! That’s the whole reason for the long wait times behind the current scandal. So, while government programs may initially seem like a good idea, the reality is always different.

    • Thomas says:

      “…yet, he ignores the obvious perverse incentive of the government having to ration care in order to control costs!”

      Very well stated! Government intervention is the epitome of perverse incentives.

    • John R. Graham says:

      Absolutely. They will claim that the current scandal is a glitch, and that a new Secretary (post-Shinseki), will solve the problem.

      There will be inquiries, task forces, and special reports. There will be more bureaucrats purged. But will veterans be freed from the bureaucracy?

      We will see if this scandal is enough of a shock to the system.

  6. Big truck joe says:

    Why does nobody mention tort reform and defensive medicine as a cost driver in healthcare? It’s as if lawyers don’t exist in the US and have no influence on medical decision making. These so called healthcare policy wonks are dishonest in their specious defense of Obamacare and unabashed promotion of socialized medicine.