As if it wasn't bad enough that dozens of veterans may have died because of the VA system's failures, some conservative pundits are turning the fear factor up a notch: This is what awaits us all under Obamacare, they claim.
That's nonsense. The healthcare system that the Veterans Affairs Department administers (or fails to administer) has almost nothing in common with the Affordable Care Act. No matter what specific series of failures led to the VA scandal, and even if Obamacare goes horribly, it would take enormous leaps of logic to connect the two.
Not that needing enormous leaps of logic has ever stopped an anti-Obamacare talking point before.
"This is going to be the VA on steroids … much, much worse," conservative icon Ben Carson—who is a doctor—said in an interview on Fox Business. "Without question," people will die under Obamacare, just as veterans allegedly died because of the VA's mismanagement, Carson said.
"The real problem is not management," the New York Post editorial board wrote last week. "The real problem is government-provided health care .… If the government can't even make such a system work for our vets, what makes anyone think it will work for the rest of us?"
If you want to argue that the VA's problems are a sign of what happens under true government control of a healthcare system, well, there's an argument to be made there. Some of the problems at the VA—namely, long waits to see certain doctors—are similar to the biggest complaints about other socialized or quasi-socialized healthcare systems, including the UK's.