Tricare scandal shows value of VA system

Why was the Tricare scandal hushed-up? Did it show the inconvenient truth that the government-run VA health system is more effective than the privately-run military insurance system?

Tricare logoWhy was the Tricare scandal hushed-up?

Did it show the inconvenient truth that the government-run VA health system is more effective than the privately-run military insurance system?

Tricare, for those who don't know, is the military's official health insurance system. It pays for routine and emergency care, for active duty personnel, military staff, and their families.

The scandal is fairly generic, involving the falsification of invoices. The numbers, however, are pretty gigantic, over $100 million.

And then there's the international angle -- one Philippine company has been ordered dissolved to pay judgements.

Trials and convictions in this scandal began back in 2006, yet it is only now coming to light. Why?

If the military ran its health care system like the VA, something similar may have happened. But had that system been subject to military justice, it likely would have been ferreted out sooner and cost taxpayers far less.

The fact is most objections to a government-run system like the VA are ideological, not practical. After spending six generations fighting ideologies of one sort or another, absolutists around the world, we may have just brought that problem home with us.

No system is perfect.Careful checks must be maintained on any health care system. But those must be balanced. When ideology moves us to endorse what doesn't work and junk what does, perhaps we're looking for fault in the wrong place.

Perhaps it's our ideology which has blinded us.