To the Editor:
Thank you for the March 24 editorial and Christopher Ross’s article about ever-rising healthcare costs.
Advocates of publicly-funded universal healthcare have not lost interest, as Angelo Lynn suggests. They will never stop working to establish healthcare as a human right, as it is in every other prosperous modern democracy, where care is free at the point of service or affordably priced for everyone.
Only in the U.S. does the private insurance industry control and profit from every medical interaction while contributing nothing. Only in the U.S. does access to care depend on one’s job, do medical bills lead to bankruptcy, and do people pay for insurance policies they cannot use because of prohibitive deductibles and copays.
Why, when everyone understands the situation and millions suffer horribly from it, can we never sustain progress toward improving it? Why does every congressional and legislative candidate — at least Democrats and Progressives — promise healthcare reform and back
away at the critical moment? At least partly because of campaign contributions from the for-profit insurance/pharmaceutical/hospital establishment, and at least partly because of fear and a sense of hopelessness in the face of its overwhelming economic and political power.
Even in our “brave little state,” the Green Mountain Care Board betrays the public shamelessly and with impunity again and again. It’s easier for legislators to concentrate on issues with a better promise of demonstrable success.
Angelo Lynn may be right that the fight for healthcare as a human right is tilting at windmills. But giving up is not an option.
Judy Olinick Middlebury