Universal primary care offers a good answer

March 09, 2017

Stowe Today

To the Editor:

I would like to respond to “Spending money to make money can work” (opinion column by Rep. Dave Yacovone, News & Citizen, March 2).
I have heard this as well, and for more circumstances than just health care. It is perfectly true in all of them, including health care.

Our system is the world’s most expensive, with the least covered for this expense. Our system is this way, however, because it is not a system. It is a medley of different parts working against each other to drive up costs.

We keep hoping that various fixes here and there — the ACA, the Blueprint for Health, the Chronic Care initiative mentioned here, and so on — will tame its insatiable appetite for costs, but they never do because our health care system does not work for us as a system.

There is a proposal now coursing through the Legislature to correct at least part of this deficiency. It would not just “spend money to make money,” but spend less money to save more money.

It is called Universal Primary Care (UPC for short). For an excessively modest cost, UPC would create a Medicare-for-all system of primary care throughout Vermont for every Vermonter to visit their doctors without the fear of co-pays or high deductibles.

Since primary care is what most of us use most of the time, it would catch conditions before they got chronic, saving our lives and money, and accomplishing what Rep. Yacovone laid out in his commentary.

Walter Carpenter