By Ann Raynolds
Valley News (Vermont), Friday, February 7, 2014
Gov. Peter Shumlin has been steadfast in his commitment to designing a universal health care system in our state, and he has huge support from Vermont providers and consumers. Michael Costa is the financial guru hired who, with a top flight team of experts in Montpelier, is designing several scenarios for how this will work. It is highly complex, as he says, and they must do impact studies as well as crunch the numbers, and I hear them to be committed not to have the entire burden fall on Vermont’s businesses, especially small businesses.
But if we in Vermont can shed the monstrous costs of for-profit insurance companies that admittedly are in business to provide dividends to investors and astronomical CEO and administrative salaries (high even for the corporate CEO expectations in America), we will have set up a model for other states to follow and improve on. What must be repeated over and over again is that for-profit insurance companies are not in the business of providing health care.
If Vermont can meet this challenge with all the federal roadblocks and right-wing corporate funds being poured into the state to block this people’s movement, many other states will want to have a look. Think of having this universal health care system for public employees. What would this do in reducing tax burdens on all of us? We already support fire, police and schools in the public interest to provide a civil society; I’d like to know that the people serving me in restaurants and elsewhere are healthy and taking care of their well-being just as I feel the protection from police and firefighters.
So we support Gov. Shumlin, we are glad he gave this talk to Dartmouth graduate students (“Shumlin: Timing Is Key for Single Payer,” front page, Jan. 28), and we look for their understanding and help as we organize health care providers in Vermont to stay the course and work with us toward a health care system such as others in Western democracies already benefit from.
VT Health Care for All Board of Directors