McCain: Time to Start Rationing Veterans' Healthcare

It seems hard to imagine a presidential candidate, running in the midst of two wars, openly speculate about cutting back on veterans' healthcare. And yet, here we are.


Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain appeared Tuesday to suggest rationing of veterans' health care may be needed so combat veterans can receive the care they deserve.
At a town hall meeting in Dover, N.H., McCain talked about the need to "concentrate" veterans' health care on people with injuries that "are a direct result of combat."
"Right now, there are people who drive a long way and they stand in line to stand in line to get an appointment to get an appointment," McCain said.
McCain's campaign press office did not return a telephone call asking for clarification of the remarks.
Well, that's not good at all.

The Washington Monthly ran a terrific cover story a couple of years ago, heralding the success of the VA system, and the quality of the medical care veterans receive. McCain may hold some kind of ideological grudge against the VA system -- it is, after all, a form of socialized medicine -- but even raising the prospect of rationing veterans' health care seems like a remarkably bad idea. It's not good policy, and it's certainly not good politics.
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