It's Memorial Day weekend, and I'm writing about someone near and dear to me. He’s one of the lucky veterans whose life is not in the hands of a bureaucratic, distant government...
My husband, 82, has Myasthenia and Parkinson’s, two neurological diseases. Because he has paid into Medicare and also pays a monthly insurance premium to cover what Medicare doesn’t, he only uses the VA to obtain lower-cost prescriptions. It works very well for that… that is, if you don’t count a whole year’s wait to get an appointment with a VA neurologist. And let’s not forget the new Orlando VA hospital, the build-out of which is more than two years overdue, thanks to our federal government’s inefficiency. No, I thank God we have private insurance so that my husband has an excellent neurologist nearby and easy access to Dr. Phillips Hospital, ten minutes from our house. I doubt an 82 year-old veteran in crisis would make it alive to a VA hospital two hours away in Tampa.
The shameful mismanagement we are seeing coast-to-coast in the Department of Veterans Affairs is a sad example of a healthcare system regulated by serial administrations in Washington, DC. Even now, the current administration is set to bailout private insurance companies with taxpayer dollars, yet another step toward universally mismanaged healthcare for all. It can only be exponentially worse than the VA system.
The reason is simple: Our population in this vast, diverse country is simply too great for everyone's healthcare to be managed by a cadre of politicians and bureaucrats hundreds or thousands of miles away in Washington, DC. A universal health system works best in small populations, such as a single state like Massachusetts, with 6.7 million, or countries like Norway and Denmark which have 3 to 5 million citizens. In small populations, the taxpayer/healthcare recipient is close enough to the seat of power to spot fraud, waste and patient abuse. We're not Canada, folks. California has more people than our northern neighbor.
We here in the United States are 317 million strong…
Young or old, I want us to stay that way.