VA scan­dal shows ‘sin­gle-payer’ dan­gers

The Washington Times Weekly - - Letters To The Editor - SA­MUEL BUR­KEEN Re­ston

The Vet­er­ans Af­fairs med­i­cal cen­ter scan­dal is a per­fect ex­am­ple of sin­gle-payer, ra­tioned health care (“Vet­er­ans die while a traitor gets VIP health care,” Web, May 5). Un­for­tu­nately, the most vo­cal sup­port­ers, such as New York Times colum­nist Paul Krug­man, will never get to ex­pe­ri­ence it. VA health care is also a per­fect ex­am­ple of con­sen­sus, best-prac­tice health care, as de­ter­mined by a panel of ex­perts.

When you cen­tral­ize power in the few to gov­ern the many, do you re­ally think that you will be bet­ter off in the long run? A per­fect ex­am­ple of this has em­anated from the Na­tional In­sti­tutes of Health (NIH) and from Oba­macare, not to men­tion the U.S. Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture, over the past 50 years.

The ef­forts of these en­ti­ties have re­sulted in a whole­sale re-en­gi­neer­ing of the U.S. food sup­ply. In­ves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ist Nina Teicholz has fi­nally car­ried out a thor­ough re­view of the re­search con­cern­ing the role of sat­u­rated fat in coro­nary heart dis­ease, and found that it was in­con­sis­tent, sloppy and with few ex­cep­tions failed to sup­port the fa­mous diet-heart dis­ease hy­poth­e­sis of An­cel Keys.

Keys was an ide­o­logue, much like Al Gore, and he was in the driver’s seat at the Amer­i­can Heart As­so­ci­a­tion AHA). If you weren’t a be­liever in his the­o­ries, then you mer­ited de­ri­sion and ban­ish­ment. Sound fa­mil­iar? Think “cli­mate sci­ence.” Sci­en­tists who had dif­fer­ent opin­ions had their fund­ing cut by NIH and their abil­ity to pub­lish se­verely cur­tailed. This is cor­rup­tion in sci­ence, and it ran deep in both NIH and the AHA.

So how has it worked out? The U.S. pop­u­la­tion took the ad­vice, and 11 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion is now ex­pe­ri­enc­ing Type 2 di­a­betes. Meta­bolic syn­drome is now epi­demic. Obe­sity can be seen in half the U.S. pop­u­la­tion, with all of the ills that go with it.

If you think your health care, much less your health, is go­ing to be im­proved by a panel of ex­perts re­sid­ing at the AHA or NIH, maybe your heirs will be bet­ter served if you just make the pay­ment on your life-in­sur­ance pre­mi­ums.

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