Single-Payer Health Care: America Already Has It

Would a government-run, Canadian-style health
care system work in the United States, a nation of 320 million people? Well, we already know the answer. Just ask America’s veterans — they’ve
had government run health care for decades. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (known
as the VA) runs the largest hospital and health care system in America. The VA employs over 340,000 people — twice
the size of the Marine Corps. And it has a $180 billion annual budget — making
it the second largest department in the Federal Government. Only the Department of Defense budget is bigger. The VA is a true single-payer health care
system. It runs over 150 hospitals and 1,400 community-based
clinics across all 50 states. The doctors, nurses, administrators – everyone
that works for the VA is a government employee. The system actively serves some 7 million
patients — one-third of the 21 million veterans alive in the U.S. today. Sounds impressive, right? But for the past few decades — and especially
for veterans of the war in Vietnam, as well as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, where
I served — the VA has been an abysmal failure: inefficient, bureaucratic and sometimes deadly. Among veterans, horror stories about the VA
abound. These stories were tragically brought to light
in 2014, when whistleblowers in Phoenix revealed that 1,700 veterans there had waited an average
of 115 days — just to receive an initial appointment. According to the VA’s official policy, that
wait time should have been no more than 14 days. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the Phoenix
VA then lied about it, releasing falsified waiting lists to the public to cover its tracks. Phoenix turned out to be the norm, not the
exception. The VA’s inspector general found systemic
problems across the country. In Fort Collins, Colorado, for example, clerks
were instructed to falsify records to show that doctors were seeing more patients than
they actually were. In Columbia, South Carolina, delays in diagnosis
and treatment directly led to the deaths of multiple patients. The VA program there had nearly 4,000 backlogged
appointments despite a $1 million grant earmarked to reduce delays. And in the VA’s hospital in Pittsburgh in
2011 and 2012, there was an outbreak of Legionnaires’ Disease that officials knew about for more
than a year before informing patients. At least six veterans died as a result. The Obama Administration’s own Deputy Chief
of Staff, Rob Nabors, revealed that VA health care has a “corrosive culture” with “significant”
and “systemic failures.” The politician’s response to this debacle? Spend more money, a lot more money. The VA’s budget has almost doubled since
2009. They’ve hired 100,000 new people in the
past decade. Wait times have actually gone up, yet not
one administrator was fired for the waitlist scandal. The real solution to the problem is not more
government, more money, and more bureaucracy, it’s more competition, accountability, and
transparency. Let the money follow the veteran. If veterans were given vouchers that they
could use at any health care provider – private or government – they would control their
own care. This, in turn, would force the VA to compete
for their business, encouraging staff to treat patients as customers, not just as names on
a waiting list. Until then, veterans will remain at the mercy
of politicians and bureaucrats who continue to insist that the government can deliver
quality and timely health care despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, The reality is that it can’t. This probably best explains why two-thirds
of all veterans – 14 million people – don’t use the VA at all. And those who do use the VA still get 75 percent
of their healthcare outside of the VA system even though they have to pay more for it. In short, whoever can afford not to use the
VA, doesn’t use the VA. Hardly a ringing endorsement of the system. So, could government-run, Canadian-style health
care work in the United States? Given America’s experience with the government-run,
single-payer VA, why would we even want to try? I’m Pete Hegseth for Prager University.

100 Replies to “Single-Payer Health Care: America Already Has It”

  1. Government-run healthcare is lousy. Germany has it, and I lived there for years. Almost 50 percent income tax to pay for all those socialist programs. And when my tonsils became a problem, the doctors gave me cough drops for months. I found a doctor who accepted my Visa credit card, out came the tonsils, and I've been healthy ever since.

  2. This premise is incorrect. The VA is not a single payer system, but a Healthcare network. They provide all services – different from the single payer system most, if not all, propose. A Government-run single payer system is Medicare.

    The VA Healthcare system should be run and governed by Medicare. This means not only do veterans receive free Healthcare, they get to choose who provides it.

    The VA system is a joke.

  3. Did anyone tell Prager U that the VA benefits are means tested now? You can't get treated there if you make too much money. Saying that 14 million vets "choose" not to get care there is misleading.

    Any system that offers something of value for little or no expense is going to have long wait lists. That will be true no matter who provides the care. And if you think that VA care is expensive for the government now just wait until they are paying private doctors to provide it.

    I guess we learned nothing from the implementation of Medicare, which ended up costing hundreds of times more than they thought it would. Medicare is a system where the government pays private doctors to provide care.

    There isn't a hospital system in the country, government or private, that doesn't have a lot of dead bodies to attest to their foul-ups. Put your VA horror stories in context.

  4. The VA is nothing like single layer healthcare. In Britain the NHS is in a humanitarian crisis and the public unilaterally blames the government because even the far right have to pretend they support the NHS. It's THAT popular

  5. And yet countries with an NHS don't have any of that.

    It's almost as if the va is rubbish and not necessarily that NHS is a bad idea.

  6. It doesn't even work in Canada. People who can afford to go out of Canada, don't use Canada's health care.

  7. Healthcare is like any other service. You can’t have uptopia. You can’t give everyone a mri or a bmw car. European healthcare systems have long wait lines and politicians are getting reflected for promising more care which will lead to bankruptcy. You can only pick 2 out of 3.
    1) quality
    2) affordability
    3) universally for everyone

  8. as a user of single-payer health care (in Mexico), one sentence uttered in this video explains it all "those who can afford not to use the VA don't" my personal experience realised this having health care benefits my entire young life in Mexico, I used the system a few times and let me tell you, once you experience the apathy, negligence and poor service, you take care of yourself or pay out of pocket for private service, many times from the same doctors that work in the government hospitals but deliver a superior service outside for a profit. What I am saying is that they collect a paycheck from the government to underserve the community and deliver terrible results (unless you are poor and any service is better than none). so their private practices thrive. What I am saying is that America has a thirst for seeing their money flushed down the drain on a program that most countries have failed to make function properly.

  9. Why is it that Republicans demonized Martin Shkreli, the former hedge fund manager who bought a pharmaceutical company and proceeded to jack up the price of a lifesaving drug more than fiftyfold?  Isn't this just a savvy businessman doing his very best in the capitalistic system?  How about at the emergency room?  Shouldn't these hospitals learn from capitalistic principles that they can charge the highest price possible because many patients are unwilling or unable to shop around during this time of crisis?

  10. I use the ST Louis MO VA. I have never had an issue with any of the above problems, in fact they have been great, doing far more for me than civilian physicians who only care about a billing code. If your problems have low paying codes, they do not want to waste time on you. I stand behind the VA, at least John Cochran and Jefferson Barracks VA. I have been getting 99% (estimate) of care only from the VA since 2009.

  11. Starts with a lie, as usual with Prager garbage. The VA is socialized medicine, like they have in the UK. Government owns and operates the hospitals. Single payer is private care paid for by the public through taxes. Medicare is single payer and it is the most popular healthcare system in the country.

  12. AMEN! When i got out of the Marine Corp last year i applied for VA Healthcare and i was denied because i made too much in the Marine Corp! Before i was getting out they told us we were able to receive it no matter what! While i was waiting as i applied to VA healthcare i waited 6 hours that day! Just so i can get told i made too much money while i was in the Marine Corp and i was only making a monthly salary of 1,800. Really!?!? i made too much!?! Not just that but they had lost all my Medical Records and Dental Records in which i had filed a claim for my military injuries. Therefore i couldn't even get a Veterans ID from the VA. So never again had i stepped in a VA hospital or Clinic. Government ran Healthcare is a scam and more money for the Government only. I see all these idiots saying they should move to Canada for their healthcare but all i see here in Wisconsin is A LOT of Canadians coming down here to find a job they'll provide them healthcare benefits. And yet today all the folks talking about moving to Canada will be celebrating July 4th.

  13. When your patients are literally killing themselves in the parking lot because they can't get any help. It would take the general populace to care to truly fix anything, they don't.

  14. The last statement says everything. If they can afford different healthcare they get it. Keyword is afford. You could name any problems you want to with possible healthcare systems, but the main problem at the moment should be getting everybody healthcare. The goal of single payer is to make sure having to go to the doctor or hospital isn't going to financially ruin someone's life. Right now the system that's being proposed in America by most people is to have single payer for everyone, then you can buy extra healthcare if you want. Waiting 100 days is better than never being able to receive care.

  15. The VA is not a true one payer system because the people using the VA are not taxed higher to cover the cost to run the system adequately.

  16. Joining the military will irrevocably damage you in some way or another. Mentally, physically, or both. You'll be lied to more times than you can count.You'll be made to murder people who have really done you no wrong. You'll be used and abused, and once your usefulness has run out, you'll be discarded. Healthcare that you were promised will be nonexistent. You'll be unable to integrate back into society. Despite what you hear, most veterans can't find a good job after coming home. Many have shell shock and are suicidal. Nothing that causes so much misery and sorrow is worth their shitty paycheck, and shitty healthcare.

  17. I read Mr Endzo's comment, a little way below, where he said "As a Canadian I can tell you single-payer health care is great, UNTIL you need it." That was my experience at the VA Hospital. I was getting a "physical" twice a year at the VA. It consisted of a urine test, a blood lab test, blood pressure, temperature check and on some visits I actually got to see a doctor for about five minutes. After a few years it was not called a physical any more, it was now called a VA visit. And when I missed one visit they dropped me from their rolls. I didn't really miss the visit, they called me and cancelled my appointment and asked me to reschedule. I tried several times to reschedule but never got another appointment. I still go to the VA about every four or five years to get my hearing checked. I found a lady who works in the audiology department who actually wants to help the vets. When I first started going there they would not give me any hearing aids because they said my hearing problem was not service related. I got a copy of my service health records for the twenty years I was in the Navy and with every physical my hearing was worse. I believe it was from working around jet airplanes. Yes, I did wear hearing protectors, both the ear plugs and the "mickey mouse" hearing protectors but over the years my hearing went down hill. I retired from the Navy in 1979 and I am now on my second pair of hearing aids from the VA. Not everyone in the VA is bad but it is very hard to find the good ones.

  18. I live in Canada in a town of 40,000 ppl and I can call and get same day apt with my doctor anytime and when I had surgery on my back I was in the operating room within 2 weeks. My employer covers my basic msp plan and pays most of the cost of my medical plan. I get all my prescriptions and dental work paid for up front by my plan. Socialized medical care has worked for me.

  19. Wow so one sided and politically driven video! Yes the VA has it’s bad but has also be good to me after combat. I can’t believe the politicize us veterans. If instead of fighting they would both want the VA to succeed it would til then it’s going to be back and forth

  20. That still doesn't explain why we need a middleman (private health insurance). Why are our vets forced to go to the VA for healthcare? Why can't they see private doctors or hospitals like people on Medicare? Speaking about Medicare, why didn't you use Medicare as an example?

  21. Thank god for president trump giving our vets the power of choice, a step in the right direction.

  22. This is 100% accurate. I pay to go to a civvie doctor. Even PARKING at the VA hospital is hard. I have, and I'm not exaggerating, driven around the lot for half an hour before looking for a spot.

    That being said, I'm in Phoenix and, when I did have to go for disability appointments, I go to the exact one where the whistle blower worked, so they try REALLY HARD to not suck and they've been ok-ish for me. Does take quite a while to be seen, and their ER is useless, but it's basically just military medical on the outside. It's not good. At all. I even have a video about it on my channel.

    rmp5s, Afghanistan war veteran

  23. It’s definitely not because cuts are made to the program. Medicare is the least popular insurance also, NOT

  24. Notice that this video uses a system that the GOP consistently refuses to fund or refuses to acknowledge issues like PTSD or Agent Orange. Also, the VA is not the same as a Medicare for all system. Medicare for all simply replaces Health Insurance with Medicare. Which means that your employer can give you the $12,000 a year its spends on health care. Health Insurance is far less effective than Medicare. Administrative costs for Medicare are 2% while administrative costs for private health insurance is 17%.

    Switching to a Medicare for all program has an immediate cost savings of 15%. That's all the fees and mulit-million dollar salaries that you pay for in your health insurance that you will not see in a Medicare for all system.

  25. The $272 billion swindle – Health-care fraud – The Economist
    May 31, 2014 – Medicaid doles out $415 billion a year; Medicare (a federal scheme for the … to annual Medicare and Medicaid spending—and up to $272 billion across …. No innoculation against corruptionA vaccine scandal shakes trust in …

  26. the US Govt is easy to defraud …the cost goes to the taxpayer … Private business would be out of business with that much fraud

  27. I'm from The United Kingdom and your VA sounds exactly like the NHS. Falsified records, failed waiting time targets, poor quality of service, malpractice, etc. There are a bunch of loud mouth idiots in the west that want things like single payer in The US, these guys will lead your country head first into the abyss.

  28. The Military is ran by the government and it runs pretty efficiently. This has less to do with the government and more to do where those in power choose to allocate tax payer money.

  29. There is a big difference between a single payer health insurance system (like Canada) and a single provider healthcare system like the VA. Dennis Prager needs to learn more about these systems before posting an uninformed video.

  30. What he's describing is socialised medicine like the NHS in the UK single payer maintains the private hospitals but subsidises the patients allowing them to choose between competing health care providers

  31. The VA is not a single-payer system. It coexists with many other payers, and not all veterans are eligible for care at the VA. Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are automatically eligible for VA care for five years after discharge. After that, they are subject to means testing or must show that they have a service-related condition like Vietnam-era veterans to determine if they are eligible. Eligibility determinations can take 6-9 months or longer, and are often confused by veterans and the media as waiting times for appointments, which are completely separate. The need to determine eligibility would be unnecessary in a single-payer system.

  32. 🤦🏻‍♀️ the VA does not have universal healthcare it’s not even close.
    You are totally clueless on how universal healthcare actually works.
    Do actual real research on universal healthcare in Canada, Denmark or the UK.

  33. I prefer Single-"Prayer" Health Care, all it costs is loving and believing God. When I was a kid I got a bone deep gash on my hand from a rusty tin can…my parents never knew about it…healed up pretty quick.

  34. 9/15/18…..GOVT is a joke when it comes to health care + health insurance!
    Too many CAN'T BE FIRED GOVT WORKERS just don't care & sure won't change.
    They ALL SHOULD BE FIRED…..1 VA facility at a time….& get medical/insurance professionals
    to screen/hire new people.
    Then go to the NEXT VA facility & do it again….
    WITHIN several yrs thete would be an efficient system in place with caring/hard working care givers!

  35. That's the whole point of America. The government doesn't look out for you; you look out for yourself. It's called liberty. Health care is a privilege and the way to tell you are spoiled is if you think privileges are rights.

  36. For those of you who think the VA compares to single payer healthcare seriously need to to some traveling. SMH. Medicare and Medicaid are single payer. This is pure propaganda. Problem with the VA, employees are paid whether they help you or not. Bet if they had to file a claim for treating Veterans, these problems would be solved quickly.

  37. Until the late 1980s or early 1990s, I was satisfied with VA healthcare. Then something suddenly changed. After years of not needing it, I applied for healthcare at the VA hospital in Columbia, SC. Rules that had been in place since the Vietnam War and probably before the war had changed. For decades, as a combat veteran, VA healthcare had been a promised benefit. In the late 1980s, it was treated as a poverty program, and I was being treated as a welfare cheat. She said I didn’t qualify for VA benefits because I was a homeowner. The snotty acting VA caseworker who refused me even had the temerity to refer to me as a "Vietnam Era veteran," using the word "era" as if to minimize my sacrifice. I kept correcting her by saying that I wasn't just someone who had lived during that era; I was an actual Vietnam veteran. I don't know if the rules have changed. I never went back to a VA "hospital," and I've never forgiven them or the Washington parasites for going back on their promise to Vietnam combat veterans.

  38. One of the problems of all-private health care is that patients' position is fundamentally different to that of customers'. It is not just for medical companies to try maximize profits because healthcare is not a voluntary commodity you can do without if you need it. A private company would want to sell you expensive treatment whether you need it or not, and you are at their mercy because you are risking your life refusing it. in my opinion, healthcare should be a public sector-run service.

  39. How do we resolve this? A co-worker of mine, when I asked him, told me he hasn't used the VA in 6 years because of these reasons.

  40. I can't believe how the ruined healthcare system, this is what happens when corporate greed takes over. Don't think government can't fix it,it is one of the things that government control's. When you put seniors on the stock market and doctors taking kickbacks from drug companies. Look out grandma you become dollars bought and sold your life means nothing more then dollars and cents. Government can protect Medicare run away fraud by choosing to cap cost like medicaid, but then the Washington D.C. friends would not be able to make money from grandma and therefore she doesn't to keep some of her social security check.

  41. Except Canadian healthcare is NOT the same as the VA; every Canadian doctor is NOT a government employee. And from what I have heard from my Canadian friends, they like it just fine.

  42. You guys have to stop calling yourselves a university. Be honest, just call yourself a turningpoint USA Koch brother funded libertarian think tank, as that is what you are

  43. Just ask my mother…Without MEDICARE, my mother wouldn't have been able to get a hip- replacement.If there are abuses or problems in the programs, fix them.
    What a bunch of right wing and corporate democrat propaganda! The Scandinavian countries and Germany, England etc. have found a way to make it work in their countries.
    In fact ,they are capitalist economies but also put money into social programs to help people.It's the greed of corporations, millionaires and billionaires that hurts us. They don't want to have their taxes raised to help pay for healthcare or anything else that would benefit the middle or lower classes.The truth is, paying their fair share wouldn't hurt them at all, but not doing it negatively affects the rest of us.

    Yes, no system is perfect, government run or private. But the free market is not the way to go when it comes to healthcare.

  44. The VA

    Does the VA permit those under it's care the right to go to a private Hospital or a Doctor if they so desire too?

    The department of defense budget

    Okay let's cut that budget and pay for Universal Healthcare then. You do not need that amount of funds for self defense unless you are Imperalistic Fascists who acts as the worlds Police.

    The VA runs the Hospitals and the clinics

    You can still have Single payer without demanding they only go to one type of Doctor or Hospital just think of Canada for example which has Private Hospitals and Doctors yet the Healthcare still covers it. Of course England has Government run Hospitals but that does not mean you need them in a Singer payer system.

    Spend more money alot more money

    The same thing with the useless wars which you yourself fought in. Any time there is a Country to bomb the US declares right away it's need to spend money and even it putting the war on the credit card.

    If Vets were given vouchers they could anywhere they could control their own care

    This is what i said with Canada and it's Healthcare system however this depends on who is a legit and who is a BS Doctor. I don't want Vets wasting money going to Witch Doctors or spending their vouchers or Faith healers in any regard.

  45. Yeah big business health care is better than government health care do you really want business health care deciding rather you live or die pull the plug on the bastard and we will have a great 3rd quarter according to the Who Canada ranks higher than the US in health care I bet there's not many Canadians wanting to trade places with American's when it comes to health care and I could say more but I'll wait for the hate thank you very much

  46. The mans right. Im Canadian. The minimum waitlist for an MRI is 8 months. The average wait time in our Emergency Rooms is 8 hours. In fact most Canadians fly to the US if they need an MRI or Ultrasound when they are desperate.

  47. How did he manage to not mention that so many developed countries have a much more efficient and cheaper health care system even though they are single-payer too? That's just dishonest discussion on the topic.

  48. The VA is not single payer for the exact reason that the Veterans use Government Run facilities. Single Payer doesn't eliminate any public or private doctors. It simply pays them through a single payment, publicly funded, source. Like Medicare. There are NO Medicare facilities to go to. That's the difference. Beware the GOP constantly LYING to save their insurance shareholder profits.

  49. Lol! Prager can’t even tell the difference between nationalized healthcare (VA system) and single-payer system (which Canada has). We do have a single-payer system though, it’s called Medicare. This video’s credibility just plummeted to 0. Anybody else catch this error?

  50. So you want us to feel sorry for insurance companies? that have a 24%+ operating cost and must show billions in profits Paid Out to their CEOs, board members, stockholders. when Medicare runs at a 6% overhead cost, because they're not paying Billions to CEOs and Millionaires and billionaires and Having to showing profits… Let the hard-working folks at the Private insurance companies go to work for Social Security office they will need their help. Let us buy into Medicare!!! CEOs and board members or management let them find somewhere else to rip off…

  51. So some basic math says 180 divided by 7 come out to just a little bit more than 25000$ spent per patient and that doesn't include employee salaries. I don't know but it kinda seems like it's under funded and the efficiency issues may be related to under funding.

  52. VA isn't the same as single payer. Do people honestly not know this?

    Did Prager and Pete Hegseth honestly believe people are so stupid as to not see through this scaremongering propaganda?

  53. The Pentagon can make it look as bad or good as they want, with their huge budget. Clear your head, people

  54. I wish people would stop pretending that government can run health insurance. The very idea of health insurance is absurd.

    Think how your homeowner’s insurance works. You pay so that if something catastrophic occurs to your home, for example, a fire, the payout will allow you to rebuild or move. It is an estimated risk; it is possible for you to never have your home destroyed or severely damaged in a catastrophe. That’s why homeowner’s insurance has discounts such as being near a firehouse, fire hydrant, or not close to a river or creek, and the use of certain materials in your home’s construction.

    Now, what’s the chance you have a catastrophic life threatening event in regards to your health? Unless you’re immortal, it is 100% guaranteed. This would be like insuring a house that has a wildfire burning around it. The original idea of health insurance was to cover your income or living costs for catastrophic injury or illness, not as standard preventative care nor long-term end of life care. Thus, it had a quantifiable risk, and a 24 year old non-smoking thin woman could get insurance for cheap while a 60 year old fat smoker would be prohibitively expensive.

    What we’ve done in the US is to have a profit motive for only one side of the market – the supplier. That’s why so much in medical advances, drugs, and medical patents comes from the US. But we removed the market from the buyer. You can’t even get a doctor or anyone else to tell you how much a simple service costs. Just try it, ask your doctor how much he would charge if you wanted to pay for your appendix removal.

  55. if a single payer system was implemented for all citizens in the USA, they would have to account for supply and demand. they need to couple this with lowering tuition costs of medical school and nursing school so that more jobs open up, to increase the supply for the demand. I know that the VA system has had its problems but it is because the government is NOT putting ENOUGH money towards it because of the republicans wanting to reduce government spending. truth is, in a universal single-payer system, you can have enough doctors to care to treat the entire USA population. Canada has their own problems with shortages of doctors but that is not because of the single payer system–I think they should increase the incentive of people to go into the medical field by reducing tuition #Bernie2020 By the way, they never gave numbers of how many VA's actually needed healthcare in this video. My guess is that more veterans needed more healthcare as wait times went up, which might be a result of the wars we have engaged in?

  56. Every time you make health institutions compete to provide the best care, the care goes up and the prices go down.
    If we can wait out that initial storm of bullshitters crying that we're "taking away jobs" then we could genuinely create a better healthcare system.
    Hell, I'd put money on a bet that the VA waiting list would take longer than changing the healthcare system.

  57. I’m not a vet but before I retired I worked with them

    So VA facilities are good, others are CRAP. You want that for your treatment?

  58. This is why we need to repeal and abolish the three pillars of socialized medicine: Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare.

  59. Why can’t all Americans get those vouchers? Then we could abolish Medicaid, Medicare, CHIP, the VA, and repeal Obamacare. Private health insurance for all.

  60. He suggests the solution to the VA problem would be government issued vouchers. Hmmm kind of like Medicare for all the current most popular single payer healthcare bill .

  61. and uh … NO insurance causes more death than delayed treatment. Btw, people are MORE likely to make better purchases (i.e. a new house) if they don’t have to worry about getting a bill for 75,000 dollars. Why bother investing in a home or spend wisely when getting sick could make me broke in an instant.

  62. My father passed and it was thanks to the VA. My grandfather died for 22 minutes and has passed since because they heated his blood too high. The VA and socialized healthcare is a disaster.

  63. The VA health care system is completely and fundamentally different than the proposed single payer health care system.

    1. The VA system is a high risk pool. Under single payer there is NO high risk pools. The risk pool is the largest risk pool possible – the entire nation.

    2. Under the VA system the hospitals, clinics etc are government owned and operated, and the doctors etc are government employees. Under the single payer system it's public funding but PRIVATE providers.

    Under the VA system the vet must go to VA facilities and see VA doctors. Under single payer they go to any doctor and any facility.

  64. This makes absolutely no sense! This is NOT a business, and we are not customers, we are patients. Like veterans, millions of Americans around the country need a great deal of medical attention, for their life may depend on it! This country seems to care more about corporations depending on the dollar more than hospitals depending on saving lives.

  65. Y’all just gonna casually leave out the fact that republicans have time and time again made sure the VA is incredibly underfunded?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *