Logical way to health care

November 07, 2013

Rutland Herald

I would like to respond to the letter “Illogical path for health care “ in the Oct. 29 edition of the Rutland Herald. The author’s main points here are that single-payer health care is illogical and that universal care advocates are “like children clamoring for lollipop treats and not giving a thought to how to pay for the lollipops.”

The answer to paying for the “lollipops,” as the author contemptuously put it, is that we are already paying for it. In Vermont alone, for example, before the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) health care costs are topping $5 billion. By 2020 this could go over $10 billion, with no end in sight.

According to a study by the Vermont Worker’s Center, which cited a report done by the former BISHCA (now the Department of Financial Regulation) “if health care costs were averaged for each Vermonter, each of us would have paid $7,414. This amount is projected to be $9,463 in 2012 (www.workerscenter.org/sites/default/files/how_much_does_health_care_cost_in_vt_.pdf).

While not possible now to predict how the Affordable Care Act will mitigate this costly ascent, Vermont clearly cannot go on in this illogical way unless we want to bankrupt ourselves.

What us single-payer advocates know is that America has the world’s most expensive health system. Despite this huge expense, millions of Americans, including some 40,000 Vermonters, lack health insurance. If this is the “children clamoring for lollipop treats,” as the author so snidely suggests, then these lollipops are there for all Vermonters. Single-payer equals “everyone pays, everyone is in.” This is the logical way.