Single Payer Plan Not Radical

March 22, 2012

Manchester Journal

To the Editor:

I have to object to the coordinated campaign to convince Vermonters that our health care reform law is some crazy radical idea being foisted on an unsuspecting public.

For an idea that opponents consistently mischaracterize as "radical" and destructive of freedom, it certainly has some strong support from mainstream folks.

Start with passage of the law. Do you really think your Vermont state senators and representatives are wild-eyed radicals? How about the League of Women Voters of Vermont, which strongly endorsed single-payer universal health care reform after a two-year study? And doctors: Does radicalism explain why so many doctors in other states told the Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) that they would consider moving to Vermont if it had a single payer program?

The scare tactics bother me, but what really burns me is my belief that the scare campaign is significantly funded by insurers. We can't know for certain because the groups opposing reform don't have to disclose the source of their funds, but I personally have no doubt. Which means that some portion of that huge health insurance premium you face every month is used not to provide you benefits, but to prevent you from getting more reasonable care at more reasonable costs.

Think about that when you open the next insurer's bill and stare at that huge amount of money.

Who is foisting what on an unsuspecting public? Who is the radical? Who is destroying our freedom?

Lee Russ
Bennington