McClaughry Offers No Solutions

July 03, 2014

The Herald of Randolph

John McClaughry’s “VA Hospital Scandal Is a Warning Sign for Single-Payer” (6/26) draws a very sketchy conclusion. It’s one thing to criticize VA healthcare behavior that is, indeed, indefensible; it’s another thing altogether to try to tie that behavior to a “single payer” theme, then to Canadian healthcare in general, and finally, in the longest stretch of all, to Vermont’s planned Green Mountain Care.

What exactly is Mr. McClaughry’s solution if he finds VA healthcare inadequate? Is he under the impression that these injured veterans could be treated better by civilian doctors for the same amount of money we now spend on VA healthcare? Is he advocating that we spend more to provide civilian medical care, or that we spend more to provide better VA healthcare?
That’s hard to imagine from such a dedicated foe of taxes of all kinds. Is he advocating that we just stop caring? What is his solution?

As for Canada, the vast majority of Canadians would not recognize their system from McClaughry’s description of its horrors. The vast majority of Canadians are quite happy with their system, though they would obviously like it to work even better.

Most Canadians are amazed that we continue with our broken system, and more than one has asked me in personal conversation how Americans can believe so many untrue things about their system. And the last research that I saw indicated that Canadian doctors are more satisfied with their system than American doctors are with ours.

Mr. McClaughry may have enough financial resources to think that our current system works, but most Americans do not, and fewer do every year. Not even with “Obamacare” and not even with Medicare. Just paying the required premiums for Medicare Part B and a basic Medicare supplement plan now costs an individual about $2500 per year.

Everybody needs healthcare, not just the people lucky enough to be at the top of the heap. That is what lies beneath the idea—derided by Mr. McClaughry—that healthcare is, indeed, a human right.

Lee Russ
Bennington