Guest columnist Roger Stark’s criticism of the Veterans Affairs health-care system is, from all I read, legitimate [“VA wait-lists a result of socialized health care,” Opinion, June 16]. However, blaming government-operated “socialized medicine” for the problems at the VA is much too simplistic.
The people who run the system cause the problem. Government-run universal health care and universal education has worked well in most European countries at a much lower cost than our competitive free-market-driven system.
Stark calls our system an “excellent private health-care system.” It might be for those who have money and a good insurance plan. Under this “excellent system,” my wife was charged a $25,000 “facility fee” for a five-hour stay in a Seattle-area hospital. The operation itself was in addition to the $25,000. Her insurance company reduced the fee far below the $25,000 and the hospital accepted that reduction. I spent a night in a Brussels, Belgium, hospital with food poisoning, it did not cost me a cent, let alone a Euro.
Stark, the Washington Policy Center analyst, concludes, “[Veterans] should have access to the best and most-timely health care we can provide, even if socialized medicine advocates don’t like the idea.” Yes, Stark, we socialized-medicine proponents want to limit who gets health care to only those who can afford it.
James Behrend, Bainbridge Island