Single-Payer Can Be Done

November 12, 2014

Valley News

“Single-Payer Supporters Push Ahead” (front page, Nov. 6) has it just right. We do not see Gov. Shumlin’s near-defeat as a referendum on health care reform at all. Vermonters are hungry for a universal, simplified and less costly system and so are many of our leaders in the state Senate and House of Representatives. I am one of the supporters of getting insurance companies with high-profit margins out of complicated and deductible-ridden health policies, and I trust my representatives in Montpelier to figure this out!

Vermont created Dr. Dynasaur, and we can create a simpler, cheaper way to have every Vermonter issued a Green Mountain Care Health Card with which to get free basic health benefits (see federal Affordable Care Act benefits for this required list) from health providers of their choice; and have providers submit claims to one administrator. As a provider of health care, I note that Vermont Medicaid does this easily and promptly, and there are no deductibles or co-pays.
If the premiums people pay are streamlined into a single system and for-profit insurance company administrators with high salaries are eliminated, then we can do this with some additional revenues. In my book there could be a very small (to protect small businesses especially) tax on businesses; the progressive income tax — remember we won’t be paying health insurance premiums; and I would include taxes on products such as sugar soft drinks, candy, etc. Yes, there are complicated issues with other insurance streams and state residency, but none more complicated than continuing this ACA tangle of information technology complications and breakdowns. If we put our best minds to this, it can be done, and we champion our legislators who will follow through and do it!

Ann Raynolds