For some, the veterans hospitals scandal is a human tragedy pure and simple. Those who loyally served their nation in uniform, putting their lives on the line, were shunned when they sought medical help.
For others, however, the troubles at the Department of Veterans Affairs have provided what one pundit called “A gift from God.”
For those commentators, the scandal confirmed their worst fears. The logic runs like this: The VA provides a government-run health service; the failures of the VA are a disgrace; ipso facto, all government-run health systems are a disgrace; proving that all government-run bodies are a disgrace. So all government should be sharply reduced — if not abandoned altogether.
Anyone who has been kept waiting inordinately by a doctor or hospital, or who has had their treatment or prescription drugs denied by their health insurance company, knows that. Anyone kept hanging on the line for an ill-named “customer service representative” and told by an automaton, “Your call is important to us,” knows that private companies treat customers with equal disdain.