WaPo reports on the sixth year in a row that the VA has outperformed the private sector in customer satisfaction:
Inpatient care received a rating of 83 on a 100-point scale; outpatient care got a rating of 80. In comparison, a similar survey of patients receiving private care found they rated their satisfaction at 73 for inpatient care and 75 for outpatient care.
Nicholson attributed the high ratings to the changes in the system, such as implementation of electronic records to reduce the risk of errors.
"Our system has become not only much more efficient, but safer," Nicholson said.
The VA is the only completely insulated government-run system in the U.S. Medicaid and Medicare, although their growth of spending tends to be much more predictable than the private sector, still exist within it. They rely on our fractured care delivery system, lack of preventative care, and inefficient system of paperwork and hard copy medical records. In the private sector, that means to uncontrolled spending, bad health outcomes, and especially medical errors.
The VA not only routinely out-performs the private sector, it arrived at that level of quality after years at the bottom of the barrel. When conservatives harp about Medicare Part D and conclude "government can't do anything right" -- here's another direction to point them. The only truly government-run system in the U.S., and it provides better care than all the others. Or, you know, we can keep playing "Bush's vision of health care" and let insurance go the way of the drug benefit.