Letters to the Editor

ACO and All Payer Not About Access
February 10, 2018

St. Albans MessengerThe St. Alban’s Messenger February 7th editorial asks why Vermont needs the proposed new universal primary care system envisioned in senate bill S53. This bill would make primary care a public good for all Vermonters, with no out of pocket costs. It is not expensive. Unlike tertiary care, primary care comprises under 6% of total health care spending. But, investing in primary care actually saves lives and money. Currently, many people delay going to the doctor until the...

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Letís Get Serious About Health Care
February 05, 2018

Bennington Banner“Is universal health care feasible?” That’s a popular theoretical debate in our country and state. Opponents trot out well worn fears, from economic catastrophe to complete destruction of individual responsibility. They relay anecdotes about unmet needs, painting pictures of dead bodies piling up like trash after an outdoor concert.Which is a testament to….something. Because the question is not whether universal health care is feasible. That was answered...

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Universal Primary Care Needed in Vermont
February 01, 2018

Bennington BannerTo the Editor: As a proud VTLWV member, I applaud Catherine Rader's letter expressing our strong support for Universal Primary Care (UPC) in Vermont. It was also interesting to see that three large corporations, nationally, have decided to form their own nonprofit self insurance collaborative. Could this be because they recognize the huge administrative costs and CEO's salaries of all health insurance companies? Think about it. Mary Alice BisbeeBennington...

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LWV supports primary care for all Vermonters
January 30, 2018

Bennington Banner To the Editor:  On Jan. 23, I attended the public hearing of the joint House Health Care Committee and Senate Health and Welfare Committee at the State House. I heard stories from people with and without insurance, for those with inadequate insurance, people trapped in jobs in order to afford insurance for their families. Dr. Allan Ramsay, head of the People's Health and Wellness Clinic in Barre, spoke of ever greater demand on their services for the uninsured and und...

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Need to do a better job pushing our own health care stories
January 20, 2018

St Albans Messenger By Paula Schramm Thank you for Ellen Swartz’ excellent letter in the Tuesday, Jan.16 Messenger, describing the current state of health care in Vermont, and pointing out the need to get back on track with our Act 48 universal healthcare system. It reminds us that we don’t need to just sigh, and put up with the dysfunctional expensive mess of the health care non-system in this country, made even worse by Republicans in Congress trying to gut it in every way they c...

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Universal primary care bill would be a major benefit
January 15, 2018

Addison IndependentIn your January 4, 2018 article about the new Accountable Care Organization (One Care) and the All Payer Model, both statewide initiatives that are also being implemented in Addison County, the goals of “better care, better access to care, and cost savings” are correctly articulated.But, will an Accountable Care Organization and a new way of paying providers other than fee for service really achieve these goals? Whatever else these new initiative accomplish, univer...

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Single payer is right direction
January 12, 2018

Rutland HeraldIn the weekend edition of the Herald ( Jan. 7), the article about the loss of the individual health insurance mandate, gave no mention of the fact that on the books right now is Act 48, signed in 2011, but to this day goes unfunded. It provides for a single-payer system, where everyone has access to equitably financed health care by virtue of residency of the state. It also provides for the Green Mountain Care Board of which former Senator Mullin serves as the chairman.Instead of f...

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'OneCare' approach not the right answer for health care
January 11, 2018

Addison IndependentBy G. Richard Dundas MDI happened to see your article regarding our Vermont Accountable Care Organization called OneCare (Addison Independent, Jan. 4). It painted a rosy picture of how OneCare will save us all: improve our care, keep us healthy, and reduce our costs mainly by changing how providers and hospitals are paid. My bet is that OneCare will fail us.First, the method of paying providers and hospitals is not the primary problem. The primary problem is that there are mul...

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Medicare for All -- Now
October 11, 2017

Seven DaysI am delighted that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has introduced a plan for national universal health care [Fair Game, September 13]. Vermont needs a backup plan just in case Bernie's bill doesn't succeed this year. We could show the nation how the compassionate and rational people of Vermont address the health care crisis. As I understand it, the biggest impediment to Vermont's recent efforts was finding the tax dollars. Like many affluent Americans, I earn most of my income through cap...

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Enough Patchwork Healthcare
October 02, 2017

Bennington Banner To the editor: I work as an after school teacher and a personal care assistant in the city of Burlington. I love my jobs — I spend my time caring for people and making their lives easier. Unfortunately, this care work is not paid well and I do not receive benefits. If I didn't have Medicaid, I would not have health insurance. I'm young and healthy — I eat vegetables, don't smoke, and get lots of exercise. When I started getting heart palpitations a few months...

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Current health care proposals aren't the real answer
August 07, 2017

Addison IndependentBy Jason KayeIn a recent guest editorial published in this paper, the co-authors — four top executives of medical centers and health insurance companies in Vermont — promoted the ideas of healthy lifestyles and individual responsibility as the primary strategy to end the health care crisis.Living a healthy lifestyle is probably easy to do for these four folks, considering that in fiscal year 2015 they made the following in total compensation: $353,000 (Jill Berry B...

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Fight for single-payer
June 08, 2017

Times ArgusI am a physical therapy student and athletic trainer living in Burlington. The health care crisis has affected me as a patient and a provider. Growing up in Vermont, I had Dr. Dinosaur until middle school. I had regular checkups, dental visits and asthma medications, covered stress-free. Then funding got cut and my parents had to pay everything out of pocket. I remember my mom getting medical bills for weeks after I sprained my ankle in high school, and it cost $2,000 for wisdom tooth...

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Misdirected Anger
June 08, 2017

Times ArgusLately in Vermont, there has been a certain amount of animosity directed toward teachers and their union regarding health care benefits. While this anger is somewhat understandable, it is also misdirected. Instead of questioning or complaining about the teacher’s so-called “Cadillac” health care plans, we should be asking why ours isn’t as good!First, the anger about teacher’s health care should be aimed at our political leaders who have failed to insure ...

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Misdirected Anger
June 08, 2017

Times ArgusLately in Vermont, there has been a certain amount of animosity directed toward teachers and their union regarding health care benefits. While this anger is somewhat understandable, it is also misdirected. Instead of questioning or complaining about the teacher’s so-called “Cadillac” health care plans, we should be asking why ours isn’t as good!First, the anger about teacher’s health care should be aimed at our political leaders who have failed to insure ...

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Single-payer healthcare needed now
May 12, 2017

Bennington BannerTo the Editor: I have witnessed and felt the impacts of the healthcare system's many manifestations over the course of my lifetime. My parents spent nearly two decades paying off medical bills from my younger brothers' stints in the hospital with infant asthma. I was forced to put off graduate school for several years after breaking my collarbone and using my savings on the subsequent costs. My wife and I will be paying off a $5,600 tax bill for the foreseeable future after...

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