By Ron Meservey
The Baltimore Sun, Letters, March 6, 2014
The article, “Officials mull next steps for state exchange” (March 2) omitted the possibility of Maryland seeking help from the one state that is on a sensible path to a workable, universal health care system — Vermont.
The U.S. is the only developed country in the world that lacks universal health care. As a result, despite spending more per capita on health care than any other nation on Earth, we still have some 50 million Americans without health insurance, of whom some 50,000 die needlessly every year because they cannot afford the health care they need and medical debt is the leading cause of personal bankruptcy.
In terms of life expectancy and other quantifiable measures of public health, as a nation we rank somewhere between 35th and 40th in the world. Vermont is on course to set up a single-payer, publicly financed and privately delivered health care system similar to Canada’s Medicare that will cover everyone in the state with the same high standard of care and eliminate the useless, wasteful private insurance companies altogether.
A recent economic impact study found that such a system in Maryland could cover all Marylanders as the Affordable Care Act or “Obamacare” will not even when fully implemented. And it will do so at far less cost than either the ACA or our present non-system.
Ron Meservey resides in Columbia.