As have many Americans, I have been embarrassed by the conditions that have come to surface at Walter Reed Medical Facility. Mold. Roaches. Mice. Poor plumbing. The list goes on. During a recent special on television, I wanted to vomit as I watched the conditions exposed at Walter Reed.
It is an embarrassment for this country to be spending so much on a war and have their injured troops come home to receive medical care at a facility that looks no better than housing in the slums. But it is true. I have to wonder about the lack of preparation at medical facilities to deal with those coming home with injuries.
While I would love to point the blame at the war and those who led us there, I can't. It seems to me that the medical care for active duty military and veterans has been in need of a overhaul for many years. And why?
It is not that the American public says that health care is not a priority. All Americans should have access to the best health care in the world. And that goes double for those who developed medical problems as a result of serving our country in the military.
But this is not a column to focus on the ills of health care for the military.
I simply want to ask a question.
If this is the way that a governmental agency runs health care, what makes us think that universal health care under the control of the government is going to be any better?
Now I know that my friends on the left would say that Walter Reed is run by the military and not by health administrators. But I find it hard to believe that a rough and tough Marine drill instructor is heading up medical care for the military. Who is in charge at Walter Reed and every other veterans or military hospital in the country? Even a pasture dweller like Mr. Moo knows that you should tap the best in the field (pun intended) to run or administrate a project.
Before we rush into government run health care for everyone, we better take a good hard study at other countries that are already practicing medicine in that form. Where are the problems? What about quality? Waiting time for procedures? In a perfect world, everyone would have top quality medical care. I don't think even the most stringent libertarian would argue that. But we are far from a perfect world.
If we think we should head down the road of government run health care, you better head into the program with eyes wide open. Be honest about the problems that would exist. Look at the quality or lack of it. Don't get blinded by the fact that we have to do this no matter the cost. Some would say: "It's a right, after all."
Do I want every American citizen to have top of the line health care? Sure. But the question we have to ask before we run into the issue of government run health care is this: Is the top of the line health care and government health care the same thing?
If we have learned anything from Walter Reed, the answer is an overwhelming no.