Ross cooks up bad recipe for healthcare

May 13, 2014

Bennington Banner
By: Lee Russ, Bennington
I read Weiland Ross's April 29 column ("Not a nothing burger") attacking Green Mountain Care (GMC) and could only shake my head. He says Vermont is currently providing "good care to most of our people."

If so, how does he explain the fact that the physicians most aware of what healthcare is really like for Vermonters -- the general practitioners -- favor a system like our planned GMC?

A 2011 survey of Vermont doctors conducted by Vermont Representative George Till asked, among many other questions, "Would you be in favor a publicly financed, state government operated "single payer" health system paid for by broad based taxes?" Among GPs, 61.7 percent said yes.

Mr. Ross says that GMC's "costs" are $2.2 billion. It is really important for everyone in Vermont to understand that taxes to fund GMC simply replace the even larger amount of premiums already being paid in the state.

Those billions in premiums go away. Healthcare's total cost is estimated to go down under GMC. Not to mention that the $2.2 billion figure is the highest estimate.

Ross also makes much of the fact that most Vermonters are insured. Having some type of insurance, that pays for some type of healthcare, as long as you meet some kind of deductible and co-pay requirement, doesn't give people the healthcare that they need.

That is why Green Mountain Care is a good idea, and that is why we should all be telling our legislators to make sure that the Green Mountain Care stays what we need, without deductibles and co-pays that keep people sick and miserable.

In my experience, about the only people who don't think healthcare is a human right are the ones who already have all the healthcare they need.