To The Editor:
I thank Lisa Loomis of The Valley Reporter for her editorial “Draconian cost cutting” (The Valley Reporter, February 8, 2018). As a longtime activist for single payer (better known as Medicare for All, which is what it really is), I fully agree with the editorial that we should "have some minimum moral obligation to help our fellow citizens manage the burden of these costs.” Whether private or public, health care is about that moral obligation to “help our fellow citizens.”
There should, in fact, be no such thing as insurance standing in our way of access to health care. In every other Democratic nation, it is this way. Everyone pays, everyone is in, and everyone helps his or her fellow citizens. No one worries about health insurance. This is what our Medicare program does for our senior citizens. There is no conceivable reason we cannot do this for all, except the $9.8 billion in salaries and bonuses that health insurance CEOs have gleaned from the aptly misnamed Affordable Care Act since its inception – an act that is really designed to shovel public money into private treasuries.
Vermont has one health care CEO, for instance, that takes home $2 million or more a year. Vermont taxpayers subsidize this salary in many ways, but the Department of Vermont Health Access (DVHA) is going for the cost-sharing components of those Vermonters in the lower or medium income ranges. What does this say about the administration’s priorities?
The administration's excuse, of course, is the necessity to cut and balance the budget. We can duly argue this necessity versus the moral obligations of raising adequate revenues through progressive taxation. In any case, it is unconscionable that the DVHA wants those who can least afford it to shoulder the most burden while not looking for the same sacrifices among those who can most afford it.