Presented without comment because Krugman speaks best for himself!
American health care is desperately in need of reform. But what form should change take? Are there any useful examples we can turn to for guidance?Well, I know about a health care system that has been highly successful in containing costs, yet provides excellent care. And the story of this system’s success provides a helpful corrective to anti-government ideology. For the government doesn’t just pay the bills in this system — it runs the hospitals and clinics.No, I’m not talking about some faraway country. The system in question is our very own Veterans Health Administration, whose success story is one of the best-kept secrets in the American policy debate.
What Mr. Romney and everyone else should know is that the [Veterans Health Administration] is a huge policy success story, which offers important lessons for future health reform. And yes, this is “socialized medicine” — although some private systems, like Kaiser Permanente, share many of the V.H.A.’s virtues. But it works — and suggests what it will take to solve the troubles of U.S. health care more broadly.
This argument has been fairly popular in liberal circles for years. Phillip Longman has written extensively about how great the VA healthcare system is and why it should serve as a model for broader healthcare reform.