Move beyond status quo

May 04, 2012

Rutland Herald

Recent commentaries have likened progress toward Vermont’s single-payer health care system to driving through a thick fog.

If so, much of the fog is generated by single-payer foes such as Jeff Wennberg’s secretively-financed “Vermonters for Health Care Freedom,” which aims to push single-payer into the ditch by confusing and frightening us.

Although the details of Green Mountain Care are still incomplete, the planners are not groping in the dark or pushing their fellow Vermonters to a leap of faith off a cliff. Most other modern democracies have single-payer, universal health care systems and, in many cases, their citizens live longer, healthier lives than Americans. They provide numerous good examples we can adapt in designing an affordable, comprehensive “everyone in, nobody out” system of our own. It will be funded by a fairly-assessed tax and tremendous savings will result from eliminating the astronomical insurance company profits.

We will gain the care we need, regardless of age, wealth or employment. We will lose fear of financial ruin resulting from serious illness and the red tape and arbitrary denials of insurance tyrants.

We elected a governor and legislature who promised to bring us single-payer health care. Experts in medical economics have shown us the advantages and a carefully-chosen team is working tirelessly on the plans.

Let’s have the courage of our convictions and not let proxies for the insurance companies scare us back to the fog of the status quo.

MICHAEL and JUDY OLINICK

Middlebury