Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Yes, There is a Dumbass in the House

I love how stupid Megan and her friends are. There's this kerfluffle going on about some Army hospital fucking up cancer treatment MAJORLY. It's pretty bad. Naturally, Megan uses this as proof that government health insurance is a bad idea:

Bruce McQuain says that the problems at Walter Reed prove that the VA isn't so hot. Ezra Klein snaps back :

Walter Reed is an army hospital, not a veteran's hospital. The two systems have nothing to do with one another. That's why the problems at Walter Reed led to the resignation of the Secretary of the Army and not the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.


Ezra wins on points. But here's the thing: Army hospitals have all the advantages that single-payer advocates love about the VA. They're unified. There's no profit incentive--indeed, the doctors are on quite low salaries. They have great incentives for preventive care. They certainly don't have any profit motive to provide bad care. So why did Walter Reed suck? And what guarantees that the VA is the system we'll follow, rather than the multiple other dysfunctional government systems everyone hates?
Why did Walter Reed suck? Well, in the context of arguing about nationalized health INSURANCE I'd say "Who gives a fuck about national health care PROVIDERS?" That is, people want government coverage, not fucking government doctors.

I may win on points, but here's the thing: I said the f-word so I'm wrong. How do two people that can miss points entirely obvious and crucial to/against their arguments be employed by Teh Atlantiz and The Washington Post.

1 comment:

Alex said...

Well, to state the obvious, any government plan that is underfunded will suck. Nobody is saying that a national government plan will magically make medical call cost nothing.

And on the Walter Reed front, if you have an overload of patients and not enough doctors or money or hospital rooms, things are going to get rough.

But that's what happens when you increase the number of patients by a factor of 100 in 2 years without a serious push for funding. The ARMY is concerned with winning wars first and foremost, and taking care of the wounded is a tertiary medical concern. The VA, on the other hand, doesn't have a single issue that is more important than medical care.

And, you know what? I just made all of this stuff up off the top of my head and it makes more sense. Where's my fucking column in the Atlantic? Let's rename this blog Replace Megan McArdle with Inkadu.