From back in 2006. Some excerpts:
American health care is desperately in need of reform. But what form should change take? Are there any useful examples we can turn to for guidance?
Well, I know about a health care system that has been highly successful in containing costs, yet provides excellent care. And the story of this system’s success provides a helpful corrective to anti-government ideology. For the government doesn’t just pay the bills in this system — it runs the hospitals and clinics.
No, I’m not talking about some faraway country. The system in question is our very own Veterans Health Administration, whose success story is one of the best-kept secrets in the American policy debate.
But here’s my favorite line: “[P]undits and policy makers don’t talk about the veterans’ system because they can’t handle the cognitive dissonance.”
In case you don’t get why that’s funny, it’s because since the recent VA hospital scandal broke, it’s been crickets from Krugman on his blog.