Good advice appreciated

January 20, 2015

Times Argus: Thank you, Dr. Michael Scollins, for your letter to The Times Argus reminding us that as Rome wasn’t built in a day, a single-payer health care plan won’t be either. Reminding us of successful single-payer plans already in operation in this country like Social Security and Medicare show that it certainly can be done and done successfully. But most of us have no idea of the amount of research and planning that is needed behind the scenes to get this done. We are so used to “instant messaging,” tweeting and twittering, that we want our single-payer health care plan NOW and why is Gov. Shumlin not delivering it right this minute?

Well, Gov. Shumlin took this on with the best of intentions. But he also has to deal with the reality of funding such a program. With a change in the Congress to a majority of members opposed to universal health care as a human right rather than as a privilege for those who can pay for it, a single-payer plan has come up against a stone wall. The chances now of federal funds promised to help implement this program in Vermont no longer being available makes a huge difference.

Dr. Scollins commends the Green Mountain Care Board for its due diligence in helping to birth the single-payer plan in Vermont, pointing out the benefits of such a program and how it most likely will be implemented, step by step to cover all our citizens. He understands that it is better to get it right the first time than try to fix the inevitable problems after the fact. Our ultimate success will encourage other states to take the plunge also.

We should take Dr. Scollins’ advice not to despair and support the efforts already made by the governor and the Green Mountain Care Board to complete the job. Be patient awhile longer. The sky won’t fall. Single-payer health care will come to Vermont.

Patricia Goodrich