In 2011, New York Times columnist and Princeton economist Paul Krugman wrote an article praising the Veterans Health administration, calling the VA a “huge policy success story, which offers important lessons for future health reform.”
Just a few months before Krugman called the VA a “success,” an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease at a Pittsburgh vets’ hospital began that ultimately killed at least six veterans between 2011 and 2012. The Pittsburgh VA knew about the outbreak for a year, and they failed to warn patients.
“Yes, this is ’socialized medicine,’” Krugman said of the VA system. “It works, [and] suggests what it will take to solve troubles of U.S. health care more broadly.”
Now that whistleblowers have revealed widespread negligence in the VA system, one wonders if Krugman still considers it such a model.