Many people comment about the planned health care changes that the system, as proposed, shares many similarities with socialist systems that provide universal health care. These commenters, many opposed to the proposed changes on ideological grounds, usually neglect to mention that the Veterans Administration (VA) and the care it provides is clearly "socialism."
The VA was created because capitalism failed to provided adequate or affordable health care to many veterans, especially those with chronic needs.
The VA has managed to provide comprehensive care to a diverse group of veterans, often with complex health issues, more cheaply than care is provided to the general public by private insurance and private providers.
Also, the VA buys and dispenses medications and supplies more efficiently than the Medicare system.
The VA has often been at the forefront of new protocols, comprehensive data collection, and coordinated care. There are many improvements that critics and users of the VA cite of the care they provide. Yet, there is much to learn from the VA also.
Perhaps the biggest lesson is not to fear what the system is called but to pay attention to the results.
Although Memorial Day is celebrated as the first day of summer, please don't forget to remember those who lost their lives defending our country and the loved ones you have lost this Memorial Day.