Seven Days

[Re “As Costs Rise, Vermont’s Largest Hospitals Demand More Money,” March 23, online]: In response to recent coverage about who pays for health care, I wanted to add another perspective I gained after working in the field of human resources.

Prior to doing payroll and health care benefits administration, I had naïvely thought people on Medicaid were those who were unemployed or couldn’t work for some reason. I would love to see statistics on how many people working 30-plus hours a week are on Medicaid because they are paid such low wages that they qualify. It’s a great thing for the employees, and I’m grateful they have the option, but obviously someone is paying for it.

While the federal government may be subsidizing commercially run insurances that provide Medicare, we are all subsidizing American companies that don’t pay their employees enough to afford the health care plans they offer. Many of these employees are also eligible for rent subsidies, and a few I know left one job after eight hours to go work a second job so they could make ends meet.

Our system has become ridiculously expensive because no one — except the middle class — is paying their fair share, and we have a layer of insurance companies in between whose sole motivation is profit. I think one thing we can all agree on is that insurance companies don’t give a damn about our good health.

I wholeheartedly agree with G. Richard Dundas [Feedback: “Health Care Is Broken,” April 20] that the only way out of this mess is a universal single-payer system.

Mary Kim Lavery

South Hero