Letters to the Editor

Do we need Blues, MVP? We do not.
May 24, 2019

St. Albans MessengerDo we need Blues, MVP? We do not. The editorial by Emerson Lynn “15.6% rate increase is insane (Messenger, May 15, 2019) raises an important question about Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont (BCBS) that we need to face both in Vermont and, for that matter, across the land.BCBS consumes a vast amount of our resources. All of their CEOs bring down at least a six-figure salary and have excellent benefits with a vastly secure retirement. About a decade ago, for example, one ...

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Paying Price for Lack of Health Insurance
May 21, 2019

Bennington BannerTo the Editor:Recently we have been caring for a man with a history of coronary artery bypass grafting and Type 2 diabetes. About two years ago he lost his job and his health insurance and couldn't afford to see his doctor. He soon ran out of insulin and went without it for nearly a year. Slowly, his condition worsened, complications developed, and he was forced to go to the emergency room where his blood sugar was found to be over 600. He was referred to the Bennington Free Cli...

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Since when is saving $378 million too expensive?
May 20, 2019

Brattleboro ReformerPeter Shumlin got it wrong when he backed down from implementing a single-payer healthcare system in Vermont in 2014. Five years later, middle and lower income people all over Vermont are struggling even harder to meet the rising costs of health care.The recent state survey found that 3 percent of Vermonters under age 65 are uninsured while another 36 percent are underinsured (unable to afford the copayments and deductibles). More than 14,000 people here in Bennington County ...

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Support universal primary health care
February 22, 2019

Times ArgusFive years after most of the provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) came into effect, the health care law is still a political hot button issue that has been embroiled in legal challenges since President Obama signed it into law in 2010. Republicans have tried multiple times – unsuccessfully – to repeal the law. The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the ACA in two previous challenges, and it now appears to be headed for a third review, with Vermont ...

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Medicare for All Deserves Support
January 13, 2019

Bennington BannerTo the Editor:Over half of Americans delay or don't get health care because they can't afford it. That's because we are the only wealthy nation which does not have universal health care. Thirty million of us are uninsured and many more are underinsured. Even though insured, high deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments keep Americans from accessing care. The cost of care is prohibitive for many of us, and it is nearly twice that of other industrialized nations. The outcomes of p...

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Time to guarantee health care for all
October 09, 2018

Bennington BannerTo the Editor:Soon after we opened the Bennington Free Clinic, a 45-year-old woman with severe low back pain came for evaluation. She could barely get onto the exam table because of her pain and needed to be assisted by me and our nurse. She told of how the pain had started about 6 months prior and had gotten progressively worse. She also revealed that she had noticed a lump in her breast about 2 years ago and thought that it had been growing. She worked full time but did not ha...

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Medicare for All Deserves Support
October 04, 2018

Bennington BannerFor-profit health care is destroying our nation. Small business proprietors are driven out of business trying to cover the ever rising (8-10 percent) cost of health care premiums. Medications are rising at over 10 percent. Larger companies have trouble giving deserved raises when the cost of care is rising so quickly.Today, the leading cause of bankruptcy is a major illness in the family. At the same time, we spend more per capita on health care than any other developed country....

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Another Health Insurance Rate Hike Ė Really?
July 27, 2018

Caledonian RecordTo the Editor:On Tuesday, July 24, I attended the MVP Rate Review Hearing with the Green Mountain Care Board in Montpelier. I must admit, it was my first hearing of this kind, and going in, I did not think I held any real expectations. It was to be mostly a first-person learning experience for me. Yet, after it was over, I found myself feeling a bit surprised, and fairly disappointed – indeed, like some expectation had not been met.At the outset, there was an interesting, ...

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Single payer is the solution
May 17, 2018

Rutland HeraldI am completely disheartened that the Legislature of Vermont has repeated the mistake of the Affordable Care Act by penalizing those of us who choose not to buy private health care insurance. It was right to repeal the ACA mandate because it required private citizens to purchase private insurance through the force of a government penalty.The insurance companies’ goals are to make a profit — not to provide affordable health care.The mandate argument is that we need more ...

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Primary care bill a good start
May 03, 2018

The Times Argus A recent letter in The Times Argus by Frank Mazur points out a new bill in Congress that would allow physicians to provide pro bono health care to 20 patients in return for them agreeing to accept Medicaid patients and to allow them a tax write-off for so doing. This really hit me the wrong way. I fully believe, like the Vermont legislators who passed Act 48 a few years ago, that health care is, indeed, a right, not a privilege only for those who can afford it.Another item quoted...

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Inequitable health care is a national scandal
March 19, 2018

Bennington Banner To the Editor:"Equity" and "equal" have the same derivation. In the case of health care, it means that necessary care would be provided to everyone and not be dependent upon income, social status, race, etc. Is our current system of health care equitable? I think not.In spite of Obamacare, there are still 28 million of us who are uninsured. There are about 1,500 uninsured people in Bennington. If you had to pay out of pocket, had limited income, and got...

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We need it now
March 01, 2018

Times ArgusWhen is a tax not really a tax? As state Sen. Claire Ayer was quoted as saying in an article covering the universal primary care hearing at the State House in January, “It is more like an investment.”Just as it is with taxes that are paid for education, fire, ambulance and police protection, we are investing in all our residents, health as a group, not as individuals; health care for all.Can a person’s worth ever be measured by how much money they pay in taxes? The a...

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Pushing the Envelope
February 18, 2018

The Valley ReporterTo The Editor:I just read your editorial in this week’s Valley Reporter about the "draconian cuts" in health care subsidies proposed by Governor Scott and his administration. The proposal is why so many of us are now saying that Universal Primary Care is more important than ever! Health insurers and hospital providers are making out like bandits, particularly the CEOs with million-dollar salaries while primary care providers are the lowest paid doctors in the s...

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ACO and All Payer Not About Access
February 10, 2018

St. Albans MessengerThe St. Alban’s Messenger February 7th editorial asks why Vermont needs the proposed new universal primary care system envisioned in senate bill S53. This bill would make primary care a public good for all Vermonters, with no out of pocket costs. It is not expensive. Unlike tertiary care, primary care comprises under 6% of total health care spending. But, investing in primary care actually saves lives and money. Currently, many people delay going to the doctor until the...

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Letís Get Serious About Health Care
February 05, 2018

Bennington Banner“Is universal health care feasible?” That’s a popular theoretical debate in our country and state. Opponents trot out well worn fears, from economic catastrophe to complete destruction of individual responsibility. They relay anecdotes about unmet needs, painting pictures of dead bodies piling up like trash after an outdoor concert.Which is a testament to….something. Because the question is not whether universal health care is feasible. That was answered...

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