(2007-03-05) — Democrat presidential contender Sen. Hillary Clinton today decried the allegedly poor conditions, stifling bureaucracy and negligent care at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and throughout the VA healthcare system, but added, “Just think how bad it would be if it weren’t a government run system.”
As military patients and their spouses testified before a Senate panel about vermin-infested, moldy rooms, neglect and miles of red tape, Sen. Clinton told reporters, “This crisis serves only to highlight our desperate need for a tax-funded, government-managed universal healthcare system for all Americans.”
“When I’m president,” she said, “I’ll give the average American the same excellent quality of care we now provide for our nation’s heroes…but without the rats, mold and bureaucracy. I’ll sign legislation outlawing that kind of inefficiency, mismanagement and public employee apathy.”
This was sort of my reaction to the scandalous conditions at Walter Reed and even more how we are treating our nations injured soldiers. I wish though that the story had been more shocking to me. Being retired military I have had lots of experiences with military hospitals and while most of the care I have received has been fairly good, I have also observed how treatment is suffering because of the lack of resources. I have seen the quality of care go down and I am sure that it is the result of limited resources and not the overall excellent quality of people working in military hospitals. The simple fact is that medical care is expensive and when you have a large population of active and retired military and their dependents ways must be found to cut costs.
I have quipped before that anybody who is for socialized medicine should join the military to see just what they would have in store for them. Though of course when you would apply the same system to the whole country it would greatly magnify the problems. Or they could move to a country with socialized medicine and learn all about medical tourism to India because of rationed care in England or those in Canada coming down to the States for care.