This commentary is by Walter Carpenter of Montpelier, who works in Vermont’s tourism business and is a writer and a health care activist. In 2006, at the point of death, he says, he had to shop around and negotiate the price of his life because he did not have insurance.

I was excessively appalled and disgusted by Andrew Garland’s commentary, “Keeping a keen eye on the cost of care,” which proposed having patients shop around as a way to control our atrocious health care costs.

As someone who has had to do this before — to shop around and negotiate the price of my own life as if I were a used car — I know from experience that there are not enough superlatives in the English language to describe the profound indignity of having to do this.  continue reading