• Apples and oranges
    August 28,2014

    One of the most disingenuous ways some would try to derail Act 48’s Green Mountain Care’s single-payer universal health care plan is to link it to the Vermont Health Connect insurance plans. In spite of a couple of needed reforms, there is no way, shape or form that these health plans are comparable or similar. Far from it. Green Mountain Care, due in 2017, resembles Medicare, which is for the most part a “single-payer” plan. Vermont Health Connect is a convoluted, federally mandated, insurance company-based exchange program with various degrees of coverage, premiums, deductibles, eligibilities and subsidies that perpetually needs updating depending on a number of factors on a yearly basis. Green Mountain Care’s only requirement is being a Vermont resident. Like Medicare, no yearly renewals needed.

    One soon-to-be-ex-politician guilty of the above grossly inaccurate comparison is Paul Ralston in his recent commentary “Single payer is key campaign issue.” Not only are the two health plans miles apart in every conceivable way, Vermont Health Connect wouldn’t even exist if it weren’t federally mandated by the Affordable Care Act and Vermont didn’t have to wait for the necessary waivers in 2017 for Green Mountain Care to become a reality.

    His professed support for single payer (Green Mountain Care) becomes questionable by choosing fellow House member Heidi Scheuermann as his co-founder for Vision to Action Vermont. Heidi Scheuermann, as her record and commentaries show, is no friend of single payer. His motive is further questioned by a number of “what ifs,” with no factual basis, such as “What if single payer doesn’t provide universal access health care?” Sowing the seeds of fear and uncertainty is a classic tactic in attempting to manipulate public opinion for political or other reasons.

    Jerry Kilcourse


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