Saturday, November 12, 2011

Mitt Romney suggests privatizing Veterans' healthcare

Mitt Romney at the Faith and Freedom Coalition meeting in June 2011.
Source: E McBride

At a round-table meeting in South Carolina on Veterans Day, Mitt Romney quietly suggested the idea of privatizing medical care for Veterans. He suggested that giving wounded vets other options outside of the VA would force the VA to do better. 

"When you work in the private sector and you have a competitor, you know if I don't treat this customer right, they're going to leave me and go somewhere else, so I'd better treat them right," Romney said. "Whereas if you're the government, they know there's nowhere else you guys can go. You're stuck.
Sometimes you wonder if there would be some way to introduce some private-sector competition, somebody else that could come in and say, you know, that each soldier gets X thousand dollars attributed to them, and then they can choose whether they want to go in the government system or in a private system with the money that follows them," said Romney. "Like what happens with schools in Florida, where people have a voucher that goes with them. Who knows?"
It isn't a bad idea. The Florida school voucher program has improved the system there greatly. There will be questions and complaints about whether or not all private sector doctors will be required to take the vouchers. But that sounds like a great idea to me- if a doctor refuses to help a wounded warrior, let the public know! And let the public boycott and/or retaliate. This can only be good for everyone when the VA is forced to be competitive with the outside world, doctors feel the pressure to perform good services for competitive pay, and citizens are making the demands, not legislators! 
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