Obstacle #1 to health care for all Vermonters: FUD

By: Charles Gregory, Springfield (Charles is a single payer and Act 48 supporter)

The most effective tactic opponents of good health care have is FUD-flinging: Casting fear, uncertainty and doubt about them, much as monkeys in the zoo throw poo.  When you read an argument against health care for all, you can see which of the three they fling.

A recent example of fud-flinging was a Megan McArdle piece for Bloomberg in which she deemed Vermont too poor to be able to afford it.  However, I took the trouble to check CIA data on world GDP and health care rankings and found out that we are much wealthier than we would have tourists believe.

If Vermont were its own country, its would rank 20th in per capita GDP (PCGDP) with $38,198 (2005). Adjusted for parity of purchasing power (which equalizes currencies’ worth), it puts us right ahead of Belgium and 171 other countries.  Of all 36 countries which have health care superior to America’s, only 15 have a higher PCGDP than ours.

Those 21 countries below Vermont have health care outcomes which, dollar for dollar, are superior to America’s (2013 PCGDP, $52,800, ranking 8th in 2013) .

We per capita are richer than the citizens of France, Belgium, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Andorra, Japan, Finland, San Marino, Israel, Saudi Arabia, New Zealand, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Italy, Cyprus, Greece, Portugal, Chile, Argentina, and Colombia (!).  Yes, the land reputed for narco-terrorism and well-known for fifty years of “la violencia” has better health care for all its people than America does!

There are people in the Legislature who think like McArdle.  Cynthia Browning of Arlington is one.  Maybe your representative is another.  Why don’t you send yours an inquiry and find out?  Using the image below might help firm up the resolve to do the right thing.

Vermont GNP Ranking

Vermont GNP Ranking

2 Responses to “Obstacle #1 to health care for all Vermonters: FUD”

  1. Funnily enough, I just wrote a post on why we can’t have European-style cost control in an American single payer system: http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2014-04-30/single-payer-would-make-health-care-worse

  2. chuck gregory says:

    Megan, clearly you don’t know Vermont. I suggest you consider Texas’ dysfunction and re-write your article.

    Texas has the world’s twelfth-largest economy, yet in dozens of indicators of quality of life (e.g., education, teen pregnancy, poverty, life span, homicide rates, pre-school experience, imprisonment; virtually everything except breast cancer outcomes), it almost never makes it above fourteenth, while in those same categories Vermont only once drops below it.

    So, why doesn’t Texas try for and secure a health care system better than Vermont’s? And why shouldn’t Vermont, if it is wealthier than 21 of the 36 countries which have health care superior to the US, try to do better?

    Maybe you can write an article about why better health care can’t work in Texas. That would make more sense than saying it can’t work in Vewrmont.

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