Status Quo is Worse

May 03, 2012

Caledonian Record

To the Editor:

I would like to respond to the editorial "Tax in search of a program" in the April 12 edition of The Caledonian-Record. There were many misconceptions with this piece that need to be illuminated and, of course, too little space in which to do it.

One is the ludicrous assertion that "Catamount Health is a socialist scheme that gouges money from business and showers it on Vermonters deemed worthy by Montpelier." Catamount is as much a socialized system as Vermont Blue Cross Blue Shield or MVP -- the two health insurance companies that participate in the program. If anything, Catamount is private enterprise at its best.

Catamount is unsustainable because it is essentially private insurance and costs more than it should. It taxed one group to pay for another group, while leaving the taxed group to still pay for their own health insurance -- that is if they could afford it. If Catamount had been a true single-payer, instead of a band-aid to keep the unequal status quo intact, every citizen would have shared in the tax for the common good of all Vermonters.

Another contention is the editorial's assertion that "Our lawmakers have put us on a fast track toward health care hell. They don't know how socialized medicine will work." If this "socialized medicine" is where it is publicly-funded by all of us, our lawmakers know perfectly well how this will work. The examples are plentiful for all to see. Medicare is a good one. It is a single-payer in its purest form; it works excessively well for our elderly citizens. It could work for the rest of us.

The real health care hell is our current situation. Having been through it before I know how bad a hell it is.

Walter Carpenter
Montpelier, Vt.