Leftists had the leg-tingles over the VA just a few short years ago

Leftists had the leg-tingles over the VA just a few short years ago

All we have to do is look at the archives. There was no ObamaCare in January 2006, when former Enron adviser Paul Krugman wrote this:

I know about a health care system that has been highly successful in containing costs, yet provides excellent care. And the story of this system’s success provides a helpful corrective to anti-government ideology. For the government doesn’t just pay the bills in this system–it runs the hospitals and clinics.

No, I’m not talking about some faraway country. The system in question is our very own Veterans Health Administration, whose success story is one of the best-kept secrets in the American policy debate.

The “secret” of the VA’s “success,” Krugman argued, “is the fact that it’s a universal, integrated system.” …

Krugman lamented that his argument “runs completely counter to the pro-privatization, anti-government conventional wisdom that dominates today’s Washington.” …

Krugman concluded that 2006 column as follows:

Ideology can’t hold out against reality forever. Cries of ”socialized medicine” didn’t, in the end, succeed in blocking the creation of Medicare. And farsighted thinkers are already suggesting that the Veterans Health Administration, not President Bush’s unrealistic vision of a system in which people go ”comparative shopping” for medical care the way they do when buying tile (his example, not mine), represents the true future of American health care. …

Krugman managed to get two more columns out of the glorious VA. …

Krugman is far from alone in having oversold the VA. Timothy Noah, then with Slate.com, proclaimed in 2005: “Socialized medicine has been tried in the United States, and it has proven superior to health care supplied by the private sector. . . . The socialized medicine to which I refer is the complex of hospitals managed by the Veterans Administration.”

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