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Letter: Jumping Ship on Single-Payer?

To the Editor:

Vt. state Sen. John Campbell has given up his commitment to a universal, everyone-in, no-one-left-out publicly financed health-care system, one which our governor and a majority of Vermonters are moving toward. His salvo March 25 to a VPR reporter, stating that “single-payer may not be something that would be politically viable in this legislative body,” leaves this supporter of Act 48 and the administration’s yet unveiled financing plan with only one thought: We need new legislators, especially a new senator from Windsor County and any other senators who appear to be in some sort of power play against continuing our path to a single-payer system. What has happened to these formerly pro-single-payer senators that they are jumping ship before the boat has left the harbor?

Right now in the Senator Finance Committee there is a hodgepodge and unnecessary bill, S. 252, which contributes nothing to the road map set out by Act 48. Not one person in the administration has yet said anything about the entire burden of financing falling on the payroll tax, yet Sen. Campbell appears to think they can cobble together something and then cry “No, no” to the very straw man only they have created.

If we now spend millions on for-profit health insurance, with unnecessary millions going to elaborate administration and hurdles for providers to jump through, as well as multi-million-dollar salaries for insurance company executives and dividends for shareholders, how can anyone say we cannot afford a publicly-funded system, the goal of which is to provide health care for all instead of providing executive and shareholder profits? Medicare is our own home-grown example of how this might work.

Ann Raynolds