Letter: What Do Politicians Know of Health Care?

To the Editor:

I read with amusement Chuck Gregory’s attack on John McLaughry and his views on health care (Forum, Feb. 28). I know John. He is an intelligent, compassionate individual who does his research. His qualifications to speak on this issue are impressive. When an individual cannot debate the facts, that person attacks the messenger.

Having spent most of my adult life working in health care or being on hospital boards, my experience tells me John is correct. Single-payer won’t produce good health care or inexpensive health care. The fact is that you stand a better chance of surviving one of the 16 most prevalent cancers if you’re diagnosed and treated in the United States than in almost any other country in the world.

But instead of fighting over statistics, let’s just think for a minute. People get master’s degrees in hospital administration. Physicians go to school for many years and practice medicine for many more. Nurses go to school and take care of very sick people. It takes a special person to be a nurse. Plant engineers, computer specialists, finance specialists, nuclear medicine techicians and many other well educated people make up the operations of a hospital.What qualities does a politician have to tell these people that the politicians know better? Nothing.

The health care system in this state has deteriorated the more government has gotten involved. The implementation of Vermont Health Connect has been a failure and facets have been delayed. There have been security breaches. The payment system was not set up correctly. Most of all, if we go to a single-payer system in 2017, we will see an approximate increase of 18 percent in our state income tax. Doctors are leaving Vermont or retiring from practice because of the changes being implemented by politicians.

Gerald Mittica

Springfield, Vt.