Gruber flawed, but helped many

December 03, 2014

Addison Independent

Valerie Mullin (“Deception used for single payer,” Nov. 27) gives your readers a wedgie.

Republicans usually appeal to voters’ fears and resentments to drive a wedge between them and their good judgment on issues affecting them. Ever since Ronald Reagan kicked off his first presidential campaign in the podunk town of Philadelphia, Miss. (the site of the murder of three civil rights activists), signaling to America’s white racists that he was on their side. Since the Republican’s “wedge issue” capture of the electorate, those very voters have seen not only their wages stay flat but their wealth transferred to the richest in the country and services to themselves (schools, roads, disease prevention; seniors’, children’s and first responders’ services; etc.) gutted.

As for Jonathan Gruber, Mullin brings to mind the debate that raged in the first millennium of the Christian church: Were babies who were baptized by a bad priest destined for Hell because they weren’t legitimately baptized? The conclusion was, no: the efficaciousness of the rite was determined not by the actor, but by the action. If Mullin is a Christian, I am sure that any Vermonter who was baptized by a minister of doubtful character might want to ask her about her theological confusion. Gruber, for all his brutally impolitic honesty, helped Americans — 11 million and counting — get a better insurance policy. He might be a bad priest, but he did good work as far as it went.

Readers ought not let wedgers like Mullin distract them from securing for themselves, their children and their grandchildren the best health insurance possible in the U.S. — no deductibles, no pre-existing condition exclusions, no interference with the doctor’s decisions, no unaffordable prescriptions and no financial worries caused by medical bills. Vermont is bigger than half a dozen countries (e.g., Malta, Iceland) and wealthier than 16 (e.g., France and Colombia) that provide effective and low-cost health coverage. Why should we let ourselves keep getting beaten over the head for somebody else’s profit, when we can afford to do better for less?

Chuck Gregory
Springfield