Ready for Single-Payer Health Care

March 17, 2014

 Valley News

By: Anna Carey, M.D., Burlington, Vt.

I never read “with amusement” issues of heath care in Vermont, as Gerald Mittica stated in his March 6 letter, “What Do Politicians Know?” Instead, I follow carefully the Legislature as it focuses on changes that are needed to make health care in Vermont available to every baby born and to every elderly person at the end of his or her life. The facts are that you’d have a better chance of surviving your first year of life and have longer life expectancy in more than 30 other nations in the world. Why? Because these countries have chosen to remove health care from an exclusive for-profit market scheme. These countries value health care as a human service that provides high-quality and equitable care for less money than we spend in the United States. Each day I practice family medicine in Cambridge, Vt., I grapple with the consequences of the uninsured folks who delay needed care and the underinsured whose high deductibles make life-preserving medicine unaffordable. Each day I need to advocate for my patients’ right to proper health care by phoning health insurance employees whose jobs are to deny needed care. Most doctors I know are ready for a change and welcome Vermont’s decision to provide universal single-payer health care.