The very model of government-run health care is looking unwell these days. After over 40 veterans died while waiting for care at a Veteran’s Affairs hospital in Phoenix, a whistleblower claimed that the hospital disguised its long waiting list by putting some veterans on a secret list. No one would ever know these patients had ever sought or received care, while in the meantime, those on the public list appeared to get timely treatment. The House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs has issued a subpoena demanding all email records related to the scandal, as the NYT reports:
The committee chairman, Representative Jeff Miller, Republican of Florida, said the subpoena was necessary because the department had been “stonewalling” requests to provide more information about claims that an off-the-books waiting list was used to hide wait times, and that the list may have been subsequently destroyed.
The left has long lauded the VA as an example of successful government-run health care, even suggesting it could provide a model for a national single-payer system. And yet the corruption, cover-ups, and long delays at the Phoenix hospital may be going on at VA hospitals nationwide. Government agencies aren’t easily held accountable by the American people, and the VA hospitals appear to be no different. We often say that the U.S. health care system needs more transparency and consumer control, not less. The same could be said for the U.S. government.