Let’s open the VA to the Uninsured!

It’s a great idea, but that’s also its problem.

By Jack E. Lohman

Nothing that really makes sense can get past our politicians, because their cash constituents want exactly the opposite.  They’re just too smart for us.

But because the insurance companies can’t make money on the poor, which they would otherwise share with those politicians, maybe this proposal has a chance. Political money won’t be changing hands.


Why are we supporting so many health care systems and their duplicated administration costs? BadgerCare, Medicaid, SCHIP, VA, Tricare, Medicare, private insurers, etc. This is an absolute waste of taxpayer money and is a major factor in our outlandish health care costs.

Other countries have just one system, why can’t we? Provide just one level of care, total, and have different levels of co-pays, deductibles, or subsidies! But there is just one level of care justified.

This writer  proposes merging health care for the poor into the VA system. Of course, even as it is, funding for the VA should be increased sharply to compensate for the GI’s coming home from Iraq. We are doing a terrible job on this front already, and adding the poor could make it worse. Unless we fund it properly, which would also help pay for the added jobs that would be needed.

But there are two problems with using VA Medical Centers: (1) there are too few of them by comparison, and they are usually located closer to metropolitan areas, and (2) the taxpayer money is needed for pork to reward campaign contributors elsewhere. Aren’t our priorities great?

Alternatively, we could care for the Vets and the poor through our Medicare system. Get rid of BadgerCare, Medicaid, SCHIP and the VA system, and have them all use the same local doctors and hospitals that everybody else uses. The problem here is that Vets prefer their system to ours, which should send a clue to those opposing “socialized medicine.”

Our current system is shameful. Why do we put more time and money into avoiding the right thing, when we could just fix the system and move on to saving our country? Obviously insurance industry money is driving this issue, but how long is it going to let the country crumble before giving in.

As more people lose their jobs and health insurance, this problem will get worse, not better. We must fix it sooner, not later. And our business community direly needs to be relieved of its insurance expenses so it can compete internationally.


  • Of course we have idealists that think that if we avoid direct payment for health care for the poor, we’ll save money. But it doesn’t work that way. We pay for it one way or the other, and usually at higher costs when we circumvent directness.
  • We must also convert our malpractice system to a three-judge panel and get rid of the twelve-man jury (though I recognize that attorney contributions to politicians may have something to say about this). Isn’t our political system great?
  • Now we hear that $18.4 billion of the taxpayer bailout money went to Wall Street bonuses. Giuliani thinks that fat cat money will filter back into the system in taxes and high-priced dinners and yachts, and you know, “stuff.” I’m ashamed that I once supported him.
  • And oh, they want their taxes reduced too, so they won’t be available to filter back! This is just plain, simple greed. And politicians who are complicit. 
  • 2 Responses to Let’s open the VA to the Uninsured!

    1. Keith Schmitz says:

      Jack, assertions against funding health care is penny wise and pound foolish on steroids. Sometimes it amazes me that some of these people call themselves businesspeople.

    2. You are 100% right, Keith. The business community has allowed itself to get sucked in by the insurance community. WMC not only has significant insurance company members, it also sells insurance products to its members. The business coalition in Milwaukee actually has an insurance executive as their “health care expert.” Go figure.

      These are our business leaders, and we wonder why the state and country are going belly up.

      The business associations with these conflicts of interest would do their members right by sitting this issue out. They can’t represent both sides.

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