Illness doesn't abide by free market system

March 03, 2011

Burlington Free Press

In his Feb. 1 My Turn, Joseph P Blanchette's "Fatal
conceit" is that health and its unfortunate
partner, illness, don't abide by free market
principles in a just society. Under free market
principles, profit and fortune amass and the
nonprofitable "goods" disappear as competition
thrives. In the healthcare field, the "goods",
however, are people and people's lives.

In our current profit-driven system, 44,000 lives
annually in our country are felt to be disposable
when health care is denied because healthcare
costs are prohibitive. Yes, 44,000 people die
annually from lack of timely health care. Dr.
Hsiao's report clearly rejects any system that
excludes people who are our neighbors,
colleagues and family.

Dr. Hsiao clearly supports a colaborative system
that saves, yes, saves $500 million in its first
year by eliminating a fragmented, administrative
heavy system.

Lesson One, "Learning from Geese": By flying in a
V formation and alternating most forward
positions among themselves, geese save 50-72
percent of their flying energy. As thrifty and fair
minded Vermonters, I urge folks to choose the V
formation proposed by Dr. Hsiao, the single-
payer system that will save lives.

DR. PEGGY CAREY
Burlington

Carey is interim chairwoman of the Vermont
chapter of Physicians for a National Health
Program.