Single-payer is best option

January 31, 2013

Rutland Herald

Predictably, Jeff Wennberg of Vermonters for Health Care Freedom, in a recent Times Argus / Rutland Herald article, is trying to spread fear and mistrust, once again, of the Green Mountain Care single-payer health care plan due to be implemented in 2017.

For example, the latest report by the UMass Medical group, that Mr. Wennberg calls misleading, estimates savings of approximately $280 million over the first three years. The Lewin report in 2001, the Thorpe report in 2006, the Hsaio report of 2011, and the BISHCA report of 2011 all reported that a “single-payer” system will control costs better than any other. How many more reports does Mr. Wennberg need?

However, money shouldn’t be the only issue concerning real health care reform. Affordable, accessible, and universal health care that can only be implemented by single-payer should be the paramount reason.

Every advanced country in the world has a form of universal/single-payer health care because it is considered a “public good” or right. The fact that they all have better results at half the cost (around 9 percent of GDP vs.18 percent of GDP in the U.S.) is an added bonus.

Unfortunately, many of our politicians in the U.S. who make health care system decisions for us tend to wear blinders regarding these facts. Vermont is different, and we can move forward with Green Mountain Care.

The reactionary interests that Mr. Wennberg and others represent apparently want to continue with the mostly employer-based insurance system that has failed miserably to provide Vermonters affordable and accessible health care for all.