Not only can the government provide an excellent health care program, they’re already doing it, and better than any other private insurer.
Phillip Longman was tasked by Fortune magazine to find the most exemplary provider of health care in America. None of the government health programs were even on his radar, assuming that couldn’t possibly compete. But his research led him to one unavoidable conclusion: The American VA health care system is the best source of care in this country.
He’s written a whole book about the experience and his research but here’s a highlight:
-RAND Corporation published a study finding that our VA health care system was the highest ranked in quality, cost-effectiveness, and customer satisfaction along with 294 other qualities reviewed.
The VA system is also unique from private insurers because of its emphasis on prevention over prescription: meaning that it’s in their system’s best interest to catch and cure things early, as simply getting treated when you have a problem leads to the extremely high health care costs our current private system suffers from. As a result, the VA system also has seen its cost per patient go down significantly as private insurance plan costs per patient have risen sharply.
The best part of all of this is that the system is scalable. There apparently was some push back when the VA was considering covering family members (of the military for example) thinking that it would over burden the system. But now it’s generally accepted that doing so is a good move and the system is scaling fine.
This is a prime example of a good government-run health care program and it’s mechanics can provide the details we need to create the vehicle for delivery of a country-wide health care option.