Letter: Single-payer not problem with VA
To the editor of THE EAGLE:
In his letter of July 10 ("Dangers of single-payer on display,") Jim Balfanz of Stockbridge wrote of the Veterans Administration problems being a "Š direct result of having a government single-payer program." The truth of the matter is that veterans who are in the system are getting superior care. I know some and they are all quite satisfied with the services provided. The problem is getting veterans into the system so that they can get the excellent care that the VA provides.
As I understand it, the back-up is due to an antiquated computer system that is not integrated with that of the Pentagon. The fact that the government has to put the development of these systems out to the lowest bidder might have something to do with the problem. The technology to fix it is out there. They just have to get people who are tops in the field to do the work.
As for single-payer insurance programs run by the government being failures, the refutation exists in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. These programs are paid for by their participants, but the management costs are a great deal lower than those charged by for-profit insurance companies.
I shudder to think what we seniors would have to pay if we had to depend on for profit insurance companies to dole out payments for treatments. The amount going for advertising, management fees and shareholder profits would only insure that we would be denied much care and needed treatments to insure that those companies maintained their enormous profitability.
For our veterans, indeed for all of our government agencies, (and let us remember that we the people are the government), we need to streamline the bureaucracy and find ways to get the best equipment and talent available to get the job done. We must not play politics with this situation.
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