Reform opponents offer no alternative

April 13, 2012

Brattleboro Reformer

In response to Jeffrey Wennberg's column ("Debating the future of health care in Vermont," March 24):

Wennberg wants it both ways. He seems to deny that his group.........offers no alternative health care reform plan, yet his lengthy editorial passes up the opportunity to tell us what that alternative might be. All he has to say is "such alternatives are readily available for consideration" and "if you want an example of reforms that can work, I recommend looking at the State of Indiana."

If Wennberg's group truly advocates reforms rather than keeping the incredibly broken current system, surely he can tell us what they are. Why leave it to each Reformer reader to go hunting and pecking through the morass while trying to figure out exactly how and why they should be "looking at the state of Indiana."

Adding the vague reassurance that his group is "not married to the current system" is ingenious. It instantly places Wennberg's group on the side of the great majority of Vermonters who can clearly see that the current system is broken. But, again, how would Wennberg fix this monumentally ineffective status quo?

The vagueness does accomplish something, though. It leaves Wennberg's organization in the position of being able to endlessly attack minute details of the health reform package that was passed by the legislature, while providing only a ghost of an alternative which cannot be evaluated, analyzed or picked at. This may be effective PR strategy, but it surely is not a sign of any sincere attempt to reform a broken system that causes immense harm to many Vermonters every year.

Lee Russ, Bennington