Follow us:

Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

June 18, 2014 at 12:04 PM

VA health-care scandal: Stories of “socialized” care

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

Comments | More in Veterans | Topics: health care, James Behrend, Roger Stark

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►