Green Mountain Care born in Vermont

July 11, 2012

Burlington Free Press

In his June 8 letter, Dan McCauliffe states “the Canadian health care system that was chosen as a model for Green Mountain Care is one of the worst systems to emulate.”

Was Canada chosen as the model for Green Mountain Care? In fact, there is no mention of Canada in Act 48, Vermont’s road map to single payer. In terms of coverage, the types of plans being considered are pretty close to home as well. Act 48 states that Green Mountain Care (Vermont Single Payer) must include benefits at least as good as Catamount Health. The last time I checked, Catamount Health was a plan designed in Vermont, not in Canada.
Most industrialized nations have some form of universal publicly funded health care, Medicare (which is as American as apple pie) is universal publicly funded health care for seniors and the Veterans Administration health system is also publicly funded. So, we have plenty of good models to choose from.

I don’t know why Mr. McCauliffe thinks that Canada is the model for Green Mountain Care. They do have universal publicly funded health care in Canada, and there are many good things about it (people live longer in Canada, for instance, and Canadians don’t go bankrupt due to medical expenses). But universal publicly funded health care exists in many other countries too and also (for seniors) in the United States.

ELLEN OXFELD
Middlebury