Single-Payer for All

October 08, 2014

Valley News

To the Editor:

I would like to thank the Valley News for the article “Shumlin Talks Health, Education Reform (Oct. 4)”. It was refreshing to read the governor’s commitment to “a more fair way of paying for health care where everybody has health care as a right, not a privilege.” I fully concur with him. Why does quality health care have to be a privilege of those with the economic resources or the luck to hit it right?

While the exchanges do some right things, they are a long way from the reform we have needed for so long. One of these good things is that they at last begin to stop the travesty of tying health insurance to employment. There are more, of course, but I have heard the exchanges described as the “Private Insurance Self-Preservation Act.” This is probably a more accurate portrayal of them than “The Affordable Care Act” (aka Obamacare). The exchanges are so complex that I wonder if a NASA computer system could properly handle them. Their biggest problem is how they try to enhance and preserve the old ways while tossing in a few bones to tout as reform.

The governor was right when he said of single-payer that “it doesn’t require an exchange website because you’re not trying to take commercial insurance and strengthen the insurance companies in the business of health care.” Well said. As somebody who nearly perished from “the business of health care,” I know what this means. It is deplorable that we have to wait until 2017 at the earliest to begin single-payer. Health care should be a right of all of us.

Walter Carpenter