Times Argus

I want to respond to “Medicaid cuts” by Karen Saunders on H.721, the Medicaid expansion bill that, sadly, has been consigned to a “study.” Since Saunders could not have said it better, I will just add to her piece.

I am one of the 30,000 Vermonters recently kicked off of Medicaid in the great Medicaid eviction after the pandemic. I am on Social Security and on Medicare now. Medicaid had been my Part B and supplement. That Medicare even needs a Part B or a supplement is an injustice of the first magnitude, but that is another story. My Medicare expenses have suddenly vaulted to over $4,300 a year, with Part B automatically sliced from my Social Security. I’m still paying those Medicaid taxes as well. Is this right?

Back in 2010 or so, during the Act 48 debate, I was sitting in a meeting of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee. The subject being debated was the Catamount Health program. I was, as I still am, a single-payer health care activist after a horrific experience with our Wall Street health care. A member of this committee, who retired from the State House several years later, said in despair once that “the function of the Legislature is to funnel customers to Blue Cross.”

She said it in an offhand comment that we were not supposed to hear. I have not forgotten it. She was right. The system is doing exactly what it is supposed to do. Its real purpose is to provide customers to sustain the industrial-medical-political complex, federal and all states, at our expense.

All this hoorah about cost control — value-based care, AHEAD models, etc. — are nothing but meaningless charades to hide this fact.

Walter Carpenter