Support our troops? How President Bush is moving the country toward single payer

A little-noticed aspect of the growing US military activities is the impact of veterans on the health care system. The Veterans Administration –essentially a single payer, socialized system– is well known for its use of information technology and management of chronic care patients. (22 years ago I had a summer job at a VA hospital developing a computerized decision support tool on a DEC PDP-11.)

With more fighting and a larger military, we are seeing more veterans, and more disabled ones coming into the system. As a result the VA’s caseload is rising faster than had been expected, and the Senate had to approve an emergency $1.5 billion allocation for VA medical services yesterday. Believe me, that’s just the start.

June 30, 2005

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