Vermont heading in right direction

July 29, 2012

Rutland Herald

In his recent opinion piece (July 22), Jeff Wennberg has criticized recent actions of the Shumlin administration with regard to the road forward to a single-payer health care system.

Mr. Wennberg criticizes the administration for applying for federal grants for health care. It’s true that the Shumlin administration has applied for money from the federal government. Much of this will help to implement the exchange which is required by federal law in 2014. But some of these funds can also help us transition to single payer. What’s wrong with getting financial support from the feds?

Mr. Wennberg also criticizes the Shumlin administration for finding out if we can get a head start on single payer before 2017. The administration has asked a study group from UMass to see if we can create a publicly funded pool to cover the health care costs of at least some Vermonters before 2017. The aim is to get all of us into the pool by 2017. That sounds like a good idea to me.

Public financing will always be more cost effective than private insurance, with its many different plans and administrative costs. Ultimately, pooling all our funds, and cutting out the unnecessary administrative costs of private insurance will allow us to create a health care infrastructure that serves all Vermonters. And what is wrong with getting professional help in coming up with the fairest and most sustainable financing plan? I think we are going in the right direction!

ELLEN OXFELD
Middlebury