Bruce McQuain says that the problems at Walter Reed prove that the VA isn't so hot. Ezra Klein snaps back :Walter Reed is an army hospital, not a veteran's hospital. The two systems have nothing to do with one another. That's why the problems at Walter Reed led to the resignation of the Secretary of the Army and not the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
Ezra wins on points.
"Ezra wins on points."? "Ezra wins on points."? This isn't a debate. Mr. Klein's facts were correct and Mr. McQuain's were wrong. McQuain's conclusion was therefore wrong. This might be difficult for McArdle to understand, given her track record, but when you are wrong you do not get to act as if you are right. Simply ignoring corrections of fact and logic has served McArdle well, but some people do actually care about the truth. In discussions of health care, education, Wall Street and Paul Krugman, McArdle ignored corrections of her mistakes and continues to impress her wrong ideas on the public through repetition.
But here's the thing: Army hospitals have all the advantages that single-payer advocates love about the VA. They're unified. There's no profit incentive--indeed, the doctors are on quite low salaries. They have great incentives for preventive care. They certainly don't have any profit motive to provide bad care. So why did Walter Reed suck? And what guarantees that the VA is the system we'll follow, rather than the multiple other dysfunctional government systems everyone hates?
Her commenters on the Business page answer her questions and take her to task for not doing her homework. (We also know that McArdle doesn't read source material or perhaps is unable to understand it.) But McArdle's job is not economic analysis, it is following the editorial demands of The Atlantic. She has successfully supported the wealthy elite's attempt to loot America's remaining wealth and wait out the ensuing collapse. The fact that she is on the wrong side of the security gates will finally sink in, one day.