by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
“Privatization,” we noted two years ago, “ is a classic scare-word among liberals.” We were pointing out that the Department of Veterans Affairs, after its disgraceful neglect of veterans was first revealed in a series of scandals earlier this decade, had no leg to stand on in arguing that VA patients should not be allowed to seek care from private healthcare providers.
Our frustration at the lack of reform led us to excoriate then-President Barack Obama, arguing that he was “offering veterans no way out. He won’t fix the agency which is meant to provide their benefits, and plainly intends to stop private medicine stepping into the breach to make up for its shortcomings.”
At long last, the Trump administration is finally setting the stage to give veterans the flexibility they deserve. Trump, the last Congress, and acting Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie deserve credit for making this happen. The only unfortunate thing is that it had to take so long. …
… As the Trump administration irons out the final details, we are pleased that someone is trying to get veterans the care they need and deserve. As for the traditional VA facilities, the bureaucrats there will now be too busy competing for veterans’ business to spend their days gaming the system.