Newt Gingrich called for an expansion of government health care when he praised the Veterans Health Administration for serving as “a model for modernization and a model of using information technology that’s very impressive” during a veterans issues forum in Iowa on Saturday:
GINGRICH: I think it means an investment in the veterans administration to ensure they’re getting world class help and I have to say the Veterans Administration has been a model of modernization and a model of using information technology that’s very impressive. There are parts of it that still need to be reformed, but in some ways it’s a very impressive institution.
The fully integrated government-centric veterans’ health care structure of doctors and hospitals actually provides veterans with benefits that are the envy of the rest of the health care system. A study by the RAND Corporation found that “VA patients were more likely to receive recommended care” and “received consistently better care across the board, including screening, diagnosis, treatment and follow up.”
Incidentally, another government health care program, Medicare — which Gingrich seeks to partially privatize — has also served as a model for the rest of the health care system. The program, which “exerts a major influence on the rest of the health care system” and “its reimbursement and coverage policies have been widely adopted by private insurers and other public programs.”