To the editor:
The ongoing crisis in hospital budgets has the University of Vermont Health Network feuding with the Green Mountain Care Board. Both claim to be concerned with how their budget decisions will affect everyday Vermonters. The fact is that everyday Vermonters are once again getting the shaft regardless of which side “wins” this feud. That shafting is inevitable under the current system, which cuts deeper into our wallets each year, forcing people to work two or three jobs to barely stay afloat. We are forced to cough up ever more money through our fees, premiums and taxes, while the powers and experts tout how they have prevented it from being even more outlandish by a few percentage points here or there. For us, the millions in salaries of health care’s top strata is hardly germane.
This will not end until we have the political and social will to stop it. It will not stop as long as we fight endlessly about how to divvy up the misery and start reducing the misery. The needed reforms are standing in front of us. If our administration and legislature really cared about this problem, they could start curing it by enacting Universal Primary Care (UPC) for Vermont as a way to revisit Act 48 and universal access to health care throughout the state. Otherwise, it will just be the same thing year-after-year and we’ll just continue that endless fight of how to divvy up the same old misery.
Montpelier, Sept. 20