Medicare for All -- Now

October 11, 2017

Seven Days

I am delighted that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has introduced a plan for national universal health care [Fair Game, September 13]. Vermont needs a backup plan just in case Bernie's bill doesn't succeed this year. We could show the nation how the compassionate and rational people of Vermont address the health care crisis.

As I understand it, the biggest impediment to Vermont's recent efforts was finding the tax dollars. Like many affluent Americans, I earn most of my income through capital gains. Unlike the pay received by workers, the tax on my stocks, real estate and other investments is only paid when I sell. In addition, the 20 percent federal tax rate on my earnings is well below the 39.6 percent rate I would have paid if the money were earned in wages.
We could change the Vermont tax code to capture this unfair and unnecessary gap in tax rates. We could collect the money that should have been collected by the feds and use it to transition to universal health care. Fixing the tax code that now disproportionately favors the wealthy could get Vermont much of the money it needs to move forward.

I agree with Bernie that we are likely to find substantial savings by driving out the middlemen, greed and corruption. We can also save by funding prevention and wellness. Other countries spend half as much on a per capita basis while covering everyone.

Bernie's plan is great. We need a backup version for Vermont.

Judd Allen
Burlington