by Robert Book
American Action Forum
June 10, 2014
In recent years, many health-reform advocates have cited the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) as an example of how a single-payer, government-run health care system would work. They claim that the VHA's integrated system provides excellent access to high-quality care that a private-sector system cannot match, at a lower average per-patient cost. Not only have recent revelation of off-the-books waiting lists shown that the “excellent access to care” claim is the result of fraudulent data reporting; claims that the VHA has lower costs are also incorrect. The VHA advocates are right about one thing, however. The VHA is a model of what a government-run, single-payer system would be like. It would provide worse access to health care and dishonest performance figures, while costing more than other health care systems.



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