Instapundit’s op-ed on the problems at Veterans Affairs hospitals reads like a plug-and-play template for libertarian commentary: “The cleanup will be, basically, impossible. That’s because the VA is government health care.” He goes on to argue that the unacceptably long wait times, deceptive record keeping, and undeserved executive bonuses at VA facilities are due to a lack of free-market competition: there’s no bottom-line issue, so managers mismanage with impunity. This would be a more compelling argument if the free-market alternative—the real-world one, not the theoretical one used so often to bash (real-world) government work—actually performed consistently better, and actually had a better system for accountability.
June 3, 2014