Health Editorial Missed the Point

September 25, 2014

The Herald of Randoloph

As is typical of most of the comment about Vermont Health Connect and single payer, your editorial omits one fact: that citizens lack health insurance. Your editorial states that the reason the governor is pushing single payer is to control costs that crush small business. If that statement is even true then he’s pursing single payer for the wrong reason. The reason must always be because people lack coverage. To do anything else is immoral.

Yes, it is a problem that employers are burdened by the necessity of providing coverage for their workers. Yes, there are myriad problems with our dysfunctional system of delivering health care where we pay twice as much as any country and experience worse health outcomes.

A common complaint is about the cost of the website, so far costing $100 million. Since the start of the Iraq War we’ve spent $720 million dollars, every single day. We can afford to take care of our citizens if we can dump that amount of money in a completely unnecessary war.

The performance of the Vermont Health Connect website is a serious problem and it is less about ineptitude than it is about the convoluted for-profit insurance company requirements. To expect our problems to be over in a matter of months is ridiculous considering the long history of having done nothing about health insurance.

As a person who had to navigate the website, I experienced the frustration in signing up but I was fortunate to have the help of a navigator at Gifford, Michele Packard, who took the time to help me gain the insurance coverage for which I’m grateful. She and scores of navigators are ready to help and the public should ignore editorials like yours, most certainly written by someone already well covered with insurance.

Replacing Vermont Health Connect with a single payer system will simplify the entire mess, but until then, get covered by Vermont Health Connect.

Ross Laffan