President Obama is set to announce new initiatives to improve veterans’ healthcare and help rectify a troubling scandal involving the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA). These new plans include boosting research into brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder, strengthening suicide prevention efforts among veterans, and making it easier for veterans to obtain mental health services provided by the VA or civilian doctors after leaving active duty.
Despite the goodwill behind these new policies, the fact remains that the epidemic of VA mismanagement has been responsible for several veterans’ deaths as well as lower-quality healthcare to those who have given their all to protect our freedoms. The VA scandal is a reminder that government programs tend to increase inefficiency, impersonal bureaucracy, and waste. Perhaps we should not be throwing more money at the problem, like our government seems to do with so many of the issues we face. Maybe we should actually institute real, long-lasting reforms in healthcare policy, like TORT reform and allowing consumers topurchase insurance across state lines. A free market would be much better at providing our veterans the services they need and deserve.