Letters to the Editor

A VA-type health care system is bad idea

I retired from the Air Force as a firefighter after 23 years of service and I don’t think a Veterans Administration-type system of health care should be extended to all Americans.

If we make government-run health care available to all, we will become like Great Britain and Canada where the quality of care isn’t good and there are long wait times. When I was in England, I saw people waiting for months to see a doctor. The same thing has happened at the VA — some patients have waited so long to see a specialist that they died in the process.

The VA does not have enough doctors to handle the workload. My doctor had 1,500 patients. Since they are so overburdened, they sometimes give a “Band-Aid” instead of finding out what’s really wrong with someone. When I went to the VA for my back, I was given a bottle of aspirin; when I decided on my own to see my regular doctor, I got a CT scan. With my private doctor, I get seen when I need to get seen and I don’t have to wait a long time for a specialist.

We’ve been throwing a lot of money into improving the VA and it’s hard enough for it to take care of veterans. I believe opening a single-payer system to all citizens would erode the medical care that patients receive. Government-run health care for everyone just seems like a foolish idea to me.

Kirk Anderson

Marion

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