November 21, 2014
Before we lose all perspective on Jonathan Gruber’s “stupid” and arrogant words concerning the American public, we should consider the following. His faux pas really has nothing to do with the goals of universal health care of Act 48’s single payer. The same is true concerning the Vermont Health Connect website and its problems. A website is not health care. It is merely an administrative tool, though a poorly executed one. Vermont Health Connect is not single payer.
Predictably, the reactionaries in the Vermont Legislature such as Heidi Scheuermann, Patti Komline and Kurt Wright, all of whom opposed single payer since inception, are now using this latest controversy as a means to scuttle Act 48. This is their real agenda. The focus of their outrage about Gruber is just the vehicle. But such is the nature of 21st-century politics.
As stated many times ad nauseam and ad infinitum, the U.S. has the most expensive health care system in the advanced world and still has not reached the goal of universal coverage. This is not an impossible feat, as all other such countries have shown decades ago. The main reason is lack of political will or in many cases political courage. This is something our legislators in Vermont who overwhelmingly voted for Act 48 need to remember during the next legislative session.