In reading the recent opinion written by the VP of Client Relations at BlueCross BlueShield of Vermont suggesting price-shopping by patients, comments I have seen are “absurd” and “breathtaking.”

Health care costs, the stranglehold of insurance companies and Big Pharma add to a broken system of health care in Vermont and throughout the country.

My 74-year-old brother lives in a small town in England. He has a serious cancer but is not ignored by the National Health Service, is regularly called in for appointments, scans, biopsies and surgeries at no cost to him beyond nominal amounts for prescriptions (approx. equivalent $2.25 each).

People argue “but, look at UK taxes.” Yes, but they’re getting something very important in return for their tax payments!

I also know a young woman who took her husband to the UK for a procedure that wasn’t then available in the U.S. She paid the full price for the life-saving procedure, plus travel expenses plus accommodation while he recovered near the hospital. I have traveled all over the world (mostly by sailboat) and found medical and dental care to be as good as, or better than, the U.S. in most places; that is plain wrong.

Vermont, at least, should do better!

Sally Jenks Roth