Letters to the Editor

The Next Health Care Victim
January 17, 2017

The Burlington Free PressA health care crisis is coming down the road at very high speed. Getting rid of the ACA (Obamacare) is one of our new president’s top priorities. That will end subsidized health insurance under the ACA, and the ACA’s expansion of Medicaid.Millions of people, including many, many thousands of Vermonters, will rapidly become unable to afford trips to doctors and hospitals.Medicare, already too expensive for many seniors, is also looking at “reform” ...

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Universal Primary Care the Right Direction
December 02, 2016

Times Argus Burr Morse’s supposedly humorous commentary on health care reform, which is implying that reform “is going in the wrong direction,” is far from humorous to the many health care providers working hard to solve the crises of past years. Yes, Burr, it was once quite hard to find a doctor taking on new patients, but it can be getting better with health care reform that prioritizes primary care. Yes, as a fellow old Yankee, a year older than Burr’s brother, Elliot...

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Universal Primary Care, The Right Prescription
June 10, 2016

The Caledonian RecordThe editorial “Another Terrible Prescription” (Caledonian-Record, 05/21/2016) is an editorial conflicting with its own irony. It disses two proposals for publicly-funded universal systems currently in the statehouse — Dr. Dynasaur for children up to age 26 and Universal Primary Care — while simultaneously defending another universal program called Medicare. The editorial says of this program that the state of Vermont cannot get its grubby paws on the ...

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Paying for Lack of Single Payer
May 14, 2016

 Rutland HerladDawn Smith Pliner (“Health care nightmare, May 13) ought to be married to a Canadian. The health enrollment form is one page long — and it covers the entire family. An American acquaintance of mine, married to a Canadian, suffered a three-months-long, life-threatening crisis a month after they moved there and received excellent, affordable care, no further paperwork required.The inept processing Ms. Pliner is subject to is not a bug; it’s a feature. Vermonte...

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Opinion: Universal Care System Favored
May 05, 2016

 Addison IndependentThe letter “Vermont must address health insurance conundrum” (Addison Independent, April 11, 2016) was right on. This health insurance conundrum cannot be repeated enough. Our wages can never keep up with the never-ending rise of health care costs, no matter how high we raise the minimum wage. That “Of the roughly 630,000 people living in Vermont, almost 40 percent of them are on some form of public health care,” as the letter said, plainly shows ...

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Make Primary Care Free
April 08, 2016

 Times ArgusMake Primary Care FreeThe commentary “Make primary care free” (Times Argus, March 27) is on to something. Primary care is the core of our health care. The recent attempts at reform, like the Accountable Care Organizations (ACO), and the all-payer waiver, are revolving around the necessity of primary care.Hard experience taught me some years ago how absolutely essential it is to have access to a primary care physician. This is not only for routine maintenance, but to ...

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Question the System
February 15, 2016

The Times Argus The latest Times Argus/Rutland Herald editorial, “Sanders’ Challenge,” once again seems to paint Bernie Sanders as an unrealistic “populist” versus Hillary Clinton, the pragmatic realist. One example is the ACA (Obamacare) which Hillary Clinton wants to improve incrementally while Bernie wants to replace with a “single payer” Medicare-for-all health care plan.Health care in the U.S. is one of the most glaring examples of inequality, ...

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Health Care Overload
February 08, 2016

 The Valley NewsTo the Editor:Having recently helped a friend renew her supplemental health insurance, I was astounded by the amount of complexity the current system involves. First, we spent several hours learning about the overwhelming number of choices available to her from One Exchange, the health care exchange that now handles the health care coverage of DHMC retirees. Then we were on the phone for over an hour with a One Exchange representative reconfirming information (particularly m...

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Obama Care Not Enough
January 21, 2016

 Rutland HerladPaul Krugman’s “Health reform realities” (Jan. 19) claims that reality limits us to working with Obamacare; a national health care plan like the one Bernie Sanders proposes is unrealistic. But Krugman’s assessment leaves out one extremely important reality and understates a second.He left out the reality that his approach is a surrender to the power of the health insurance industry that, as he says, “played a major part in killing health reform i...

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Obamacare Not the Answer
January 21, 2016

Rutland Herlad It’s disheartening to see a respected newspaper like the Herald and a celebrated economist like Paul Krugman echo Hillary Clinton’s claim that the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) is a great achievement and the best we can get. If so, why are thousands thronging to hear Bernie Sanders and cheering his assertion that health care is a human right which the government should provide? When Krugman’s column ran in the New York Times, hundreds of eloq...

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Galling Reasons for Giving Up
January 20, 2016

Rutland Herald How very disappointing that Paul Krugman calls the ongoing fight for guaranteed health care for all Americans a “quixotic attempt” by progressives. Until insurance companies are not lined up at the trough, siphoning off health care dollars in the name of profit, our work is not done, and we will not give up regardless of Krugman’s “three big reasons,” the first the most galling. He claims that we can’t change the system because “incumbe...

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Single Payer is the Way To Go
January 19, 2016

Bennington BannerObamacare has definitely done some good. The main benefit has been to make health insurance available to many who did not have access before. Also patients with preexisting conditions cannot be denied coverage by the insurance companies. But Obamacare falls short in many ways:• About 25 million of us will be left uninsured and many more will be underinsured• Administrative complexity and waste have not been reduced; they have increased• High deductibles and copays...

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Why Primary Care is Essential
January 16, 2016

Rutland Herald The commentary “Primary care for all” describes two bills which propose to build a system of universal primary care in Vermont. These are H.207 and S.88. As I learned the difficult way through a near fatal experience some years ago, access to primary care is vital. Without it, problems can go either undetected or are put off by costs or insane insurance complexities until they require costlier care or become life threatening. The latter instance is what happened ...

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Healthcare Reform and the Fear Factor
October 06, 2015

Bennington BannerJohn McClaughry's column "Vermont's coming all payer 'reform'" (09/30/2015) raises an awful lot of fears in its roughly 750 words. One thing it does not do is mention that since 1971 Maryland has been operating a version of the all payer system that applies to hospital care. Between 1976 and 2007, Maryland had the second lowest rate of increase in costs per hospital admission in the country.A few other points from Mr. McClaughry's column need to be addressed. He says t...

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Not much has changed
August 20, 2015

Times ArgusI wear a button that says “Health care is a human right.”Growing up in Germany, I never ever thought that it couldn’t be. Yes, we had money taken out from our pay checks but it was definitely worth it: There was never a question or a problem to go to the doctor of my choice, to have procedures done or to go for recuperation to a sanatorium.I was totally shocked when I came to the states and experienced the state of affairs in health care. How can a society function w...

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