Before Long, All of Obamacare Will Be Run Like the VA Hospital System

The current scandal surrounding the Veteran’s Administration hospital in Phoenix, in which “secret” appointment lists contained scores of veterans — some of whom died while waiting months for an appointment or treatment — is just a precursor to what is sure to happen throughout the country after all of Obamacare’s mandates fully kick in, and here’s why: The more bureaucracy there is between doctors and patients, the less care there is.

And that’s historically been the problem with the VA hospital system: It’s overly bureaucratic and, hence, very inefficiently run.

For decades now — long before the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — the VA has been a model of inefficiency and negligence. In fact, from its inception in 1921 (it was then known as the Veterans Bureau) the VA has been a model of corruption and incompetence. A report in 1949 by a commission looking into VA abuses “uncovered a staggering amount of waste,” which was attributed to the highly political nature of the VA’s healthcare system. In 1989, the VA was elevated to a Cabinet-level position, though no compelling arguments at the time existed to justify it. But nothing changed; as noted by the Independent Institute, “The Cabinet position offered no lasting changes to address the extensive waste and inferior care.”

‘Bureaucracy’s first instinct is self-preservation’This should surprise no one. The examples of government bureaucracy wasting taxpayer money and operating inefficiently — because, as a government agency, there is no incentive to provide a superior product to the public like a business has to do in order to survive — are legion.

As noted by The Plain Dealer columnist Kevin O’Brien, this historical inefficiency will manifest itself throughout the entire healthcare system, because Obamacare bureaucratizes all delivery systems.