By Ellen Oxfeld
Rutland (Vt.) Herald, Letters, Oct. 21, 2014
Recent letters have expressed the fear that a Vermont-based single-payer system would be a threat to Medicare. This is simply untrue and here is why. The law which set Vermont on the path to single payer specifies on its very first page that Green Mountain Care will cover all Vermonters “regardless of income, assets, health status, or availability of other health coverage.” Also, federal law does not allow for any state to take away Medicare or change Medicare benefits for seniors.
This provides an answer to the queries about Medicare. People on Medicare, or retirees, can keep their coverage. Nothing in Vermont’s law changes how people sign up for Medicare or what benefits seniors would receive. However, Green Mountain Care will be there for them as well, because it will cover all Vermonters regardless of any other coverage they have.
Rather than Green Mountain Care, Vermont’s future single-payer plan, being a threat to Medicare, it will actually ensure that all Vermonters have the same kind of protection that seniors have with Medicare.
Ellen Oxfeld resides in Middlebury.