Single-payer will benefit everyone

March 22, 2012

Stowe Reporter

To the Editor:

Regarding Steve Chambers’ opinion column March 8, “The Green Mountain Scare,” is trumped up by Vermonters for Healthcare Freedom, whose funders — probably the insurance industry — are unidentified.

Financing for Green Mountain Care is not yet spelled out because it cannot be implemented before 2017, when the necessary waivers may be obtained. By federal law, Vermont must first create a health-care exchange, which is entirely separate and requires immediate legislative attention.

But we can commit now to establishing single-payer as soon as possible. The goal is affordable health care for everyone, so that losing a job will no longer mean losing medical care and serious illness will no longer bring financial ruin. Under single-payer, everyone will pay fairly and will receive both preventive care and treatment. Most savings will come from eliminating the enormous insurance company profits and waste.

Single-payer is nothing new or radical. It is much like Medicare, which runs well and is very popular. Nearly every modern democracy provides universal health care akin to single-payer. Many economists, medical professionals, legislators and our congressional delegation advocate single-payer for Vermont.

Businesses will save money under single-payer. Though some doctors may threaten to leave, actually relocating will not prove simple. If a few physicians do move away, single-payer will attract more than enough new ones to compensate.

Steve Chambers suspects single-payer is some “Marxist, socialist, communist” plot. In fact, Gov. Shumlin was elected largely because he vowed to create a single-payer system here. He is doing as he promised.

Let’s stop the false alarms. Single-payer will benefit everyone.

Judy Olinick