VA Health Care System Rated Highly in Government Report

A recent report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says the VA  (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs) does a much better job controlling health care costs than the private sector delivery system which is used by Medicare and all private sector insurance plans.

The CBO estimates that the VA’s health care cost per enrollee grew by only 1.7 % from 1999 to 2005, which amounts to 0.3% annually. Medicare’s costs grew 29.4 % per capita over that same period, or 4.4 % per year.  In the private sector insurance market (employer and individual plans) premiums increased by more than 70% during this period.

The CBO report also says that the VA scores better than the private sector when it comes to patient/customer satisfaction. In 2005, the VA achieved a satisfaction score of 83 out of 100 for inpatient care and 80 out of 100 for outpatient care.  The same survey showed private-sector providers of got 73 for inpatient care and 75 for outpatient care.

Phillip Longman wrote a book titled Best Care Anywhere: Why VA Healthcare is Better than Yours.  He is quoted in a May 28th health care blog saying, “In study after study published in peer‐reviewed journals, the VA beats other health care providers on virtually every measure of quality. These include patient safety, adherence to the protocols of evidence medicine, integration of care, cost‐effectiveness, and patient satisfaction. The VA is also on the leading edge of medical research, due to its close affiliation with the nation’s leading medical schools, where many VA doctors have faculty positions.”

The VA system is responsible for 24 million veterans and treated about 5.5 million last year. It has a budget of  $50 billion and operates more than 1,400 VA facilities, including 950 outpatient clinics, 153 hospitals and 134 nursing homes. The VA computerized patient records system is recognized as cutting edge and a model for controlling costs for Medicare and the private sector.

So why didn’t the recent health care debate focus on the VA as a model for a re-designed American health care system that can control costs and deliver top-notch care?  The answer is that the VA system, where the government owns the hospitals, clinics, and labs, and employs the doctors and nurses….. is socialized medicine.

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6 Responses to "VA Health Care System Rated Highly in Government Report"

  1. Ferraribubba says:

    Hey Blogger: The VA may be good at controlling costs, but at what price? When I went through rehab, a sizable number of my fellow sufferers were nurses from VA hospitals who had been hiding in the bottom of a bottle, or in a pill jar trying to escape the reality of the memories of the deaths of the veterans that the system had killed while trying to contain those very costs. I just thank God that The Weekly News of the World exposed Dr. Jack Korvorkian before FedGovCo had a chance to make him Chief of Staff at the Detroit VA Hospital, like they had planed to do. Yer pal, Ferrari Bubba

  2. charles says:

    reply to Ferraribubba
    You have been watching too much fox news. I am a VA employee, I am also a Veteran. I put my money where my mouth is. I chose my Veterans healthcare over enrolling in the Private healthcare inusrance I can  purchase through the VA. Why would I want to pay more money for healthcare that is no better than I already get. The only advantage you get with private insurance is faster access to non-emergency care, but you pay big time for that. Government run healthcare is actually one of the only things the government does well. And while it continues to get better and better, the private sector is getting worse, and becoming unaffordable to most people.

  3. Ferraribubba says:

    Hey Charles: That didn’t come from Fox News. It came from one of the two famous Old Pueblo Rehab Centers that I happened to be using their facilities for 28 days a few years ago.
    The only thing that I might have fudged on in a rather juvenile attempt at humor was the crack about Dr. Jack. Korvorkian.
    All else is the God’s honest truth.
    Yer pal, Ferrari Bubba

  4. Ferraribubba says:

    Hey Charles: In re-reading your reply, the first three sentences remind me of what J.P. Morgan Jr. told a U.S. Senate committee that was investigating the 1929 stock market crash.
    The senator who was the chairman of the committee asked Morgan what his estimation of Wall Street Investment Bankers was.
    Moran replied, “They are the backbone of America. Without them, doing God’s work, the United States would desolve into utter chaos and anarchy. God bless each and every one of them.”
    And then the senator asked, “And, what would your profession be, Mr. Morgan?”
    “An Investment Banker,” he sheepishly replied to the howls from the gallery! <g>
    Thouche’  Charles.  —  Yer pal, Ferrari Bubba

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