Cost questions good for health care reform

March 31, 2012

Burlington Free Press

A recent (Feb. 26) letter in the Free Press ("How will health care be financed") questioned how Vermonters will finance health care in the wake of the landmark bills passed by the Vermont Legislature in the past two years (Acts 48 and 559).

The sudden emergence of citizens asking similarly thoughtful questions is a really exciting development and a sign of good things to come. The dominance of health insurance behemoths which have continued to increase rates faster than the rate of health care inflation has stifled discussions and left many Vermonters feeling helpless for all too long.
The growing number of Vermonters who are now asking how much health care is going to cost and how we will pay for it is, therefore, a very welcome development. Such discussions have been futile while insurance companies have exerted control over and fragmented our health care financing.

Health care financing has become the state's single largest budget item. With the passage of the recent health care acts thoughtful citizen inquiries, advocacy and voting will allow all of us to participate in actively designing a cost-effective system we can all be proud of. That's the sort of deliberative democracy Vermonters are rightly famous for.