Single payer is right direction

January 12, 2018

Rutland Herald

In the weekend edition of the Herald ( Jan. 7), the article about the loss of the individual health insurance mandate, gave no mention of the fact that on the books right now is Act 48, signed in 2011, but to this day goes unfunded. It provides for a single-payer system, where everyone has access to equitably financed health care by virtue of residency of the state. It also provides for the Green Mountain Care Board of which former Senator Mullin serves as the chairman.

Instead of fretting about the sustainability of the Byzantine ADA individual health insurance marketplace in lieu of the mandate, lawmakers should be finding ways of progressively funding Act 48.

This would allow us Vermonters, from having the need for insurance, and all that comes with it — ever higher premiums and ridiculous deductibles, or navigating the maze of different plans and subsidies — the right to care, when you need it, without the worry of going bankrupt. Our premium would be our taxes.

Nation Economic& Social Rights Initiative (NESRI) laid out a funding plan that would give over 90 percent of the population of the state a net gain in their financial position. That gain would have a positive effect on the rest of the state’s economy.

That plan can be found at www.nesri.org/resources/ equitable-financing-plan-forvermonts universal-healthcare system.

The ACA is a failed market based system that does not do the three things you want a truly universal and equitable system to do: 1) Cover everyone, 2) control costs and 3) produce good outcomes.

Noneof these goals can be achieved by treating health care as just a commodity, financed by for-profit, and semi-for-profit entities like Blue Cross and Blue Shield and MVP, even with the massive transfer of public money to them.

IVAN P. SMITH
Fair Haven