Misleading ad on health care

February 28, 2012

Rutland Herald

Vermonters for Health Care Freedom is an apparently well-funded group that is opposed to the effort in Vermont to establish a universal single-payer health care system. They have recently begun airing an ad on WCAX that is, in my opinion, misleading. It is misleading as to the cost of the new health care system. It is misleading in that the name of the group, Vermonters for Health Care Freedom, implies that the new health care system is a threat to the freedom of Vermonters.

The ad states that Gov. Shumlin wants to spend $5 billion in taxpayer money to fund the new system. The truth is that in Vermont we already spend $5 billion a year on our health care, and that amount is rising fast because we have no control over those costs. And in spite of spending all of that money, about 60,000 of us are still uninsured. This is why we need a universal single-payer health care system in Vermont: so that every Vermonter is covered, and so that we control the costs.

Establishing universal single-payer health care in Vermont is an effort to bring greater freedom to Vermonters. Universal single-payer health care means freedom from the added cost and unnecessary management of insurance companies, who add up to an estimated 30 percent to health care costs. It means freedom to receive a lifetime of comprehensive health care that cannot be denied by insurance company middlemen. It means the freedom to change jobs without losing health care insurance. It means freedom from the financial disaster that illness can bring under our current health care system. It means freedom from being afraid to take your children to the doctor because of the expense involved. It means freedom from a system in which insurance CEOs earn millions of dollars from the high cost of health care.

I think that if we discover who is sponsoring and funding Vermonters for Health Care Freedom we will learn much about why they oppose universal single-payer health care for Vermonters.