Single payer is the answer

October 23, 2014

Rutland Herald

Re: Keith Stern’s “Failings of Obamacare” (Rutland Herald, Oct. 18): Vermont Health Connect’s “bronze plan” has the cheapest monthly premium and a $6,000 deductible. To understand its true cost, you have to add $500 a month to the premium.

The bronze plan is most likely to be chosen by the young, who are at the start of their climb (if they are lucky) up the income ladder and by those who are stuck in their climb. The young are also the healthiest among us, in general, and compelled by law to purchase health insurance. Since Obamacare premiums go to the insurer, it means the insurer is likely to make pure profit from their bronze plan premiums. People who actually exceed the deductible and start benefiting from it are very likely to find themselves already en route to bankruptcy; probably nobody in Vermont who has $6,000 in liquid assets needs to buy a bronze plan, and almost nobody who buys a bronze plan and then gets seriously ill is going to have $6,000.

Keep in mind that Obamacare was written to keep the insurance companies mollified. President Barack Obama himself said discussion of a “public option,” a Medicare-for-all or other single-payer system (which our Legislature will address in January), was never an option. And only when the insurance companies were satisfied with keeping 15 percent of all Obamacare revenue for “administrative costs,” did they finally mute their $1.5 million per day lobbying campaign to kill it. The law does allow Vermont to shovel taxpayer money to the insurance companies when people don’t even make enough to afford a plan that will only help them on their road to ruin.

It’s time to elect Vermont legislators who pledge to enact a single-payer system.