America already has three single payer plans

January 11, 2015

The Valley Reporter: About the only thing I learned from Steve Allen's letter "The Unaffordable Care Act, Part Two" (The Valley Reporter, 12/24/14) is that he does not like liberal/socialism. I wonder why. Whenever he drives on a road, for example, plowed and maintained by the state or town, sends his children to school, goes to a library, etc., he is enjoying what liberal/socialism has done for him: public money for the public good.

This is what single-payer is all about. Vermont's march toward single-payer has not failed. It is placed on hold now, but it has not failed. I also wonder if Mr. Allen knows that America already has three single-payer programs: Medicare, Medicaid and the Veterans Administration. That is using public money for the public good. Is Mr. Allen on one of these? The problem with Medicare/Medicaid is that they do not include all of us.

Mr. Allen is correct about the redistribution of wealth but incorrect on who is responsible for it. To quote our famous democratic socialist senator, Bernie Sanders: "The top 1 percent own 42 percent of the financial wealth of the nation, while, incredibly, the bottom 60 percent own only 2.3 percent (www.huffingtonpost.com/rep-bernie-sanders/the-soul-of-america_b_2439576.html)."

This is true wealth redistribution at its finest. Margaret Thatcher would have loved it, living so well off of other people's money in a form of welfare like she was as the leader of the conservative party, then prime minister, when she supposedly said in 1976, "The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money."

The desperate need for single-payer here speaks loudly with a saying I heard from a friend in The Valley yesterday who is retiring soon: "Thank God. I can at last get on Medicare."

Carpenter lives in Montpelier, works in the Mad River Valley during the winter, bicycles in The Valley during the summer and fall and is a member of the Green Mountain Care Board's advisory committee.