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Forum, June 6: ‘Health care for all’ is perfect example of Democratic folly


Wednesday, June 05, 2019
‘Health care for all’ is perfect example of Democratic folly

Alabama has taken a break from dominating college football to lead a charge to overturn or modify Roe v. Wade. The next two years of court challenges, set against the backdrop of a presidential election, promise to make for tremendous political theater.

Still, the question of when life begins is only a small part of a larger issue. The fact is, the loudest voices deriding the Alabama heartbeat law are the same voices that have been championing government-run health care for the past 50 years. This is the ultimate paradox: How can health care be a personal, private matter between only an individual, a doctor and, wait, the world’s largest bureaucracy?

This is the perfect example of the folly of the left’s dream. How can you champion the idea of personal liberty and cede that liberty to a power you cannot control? Government must take over health care, yet government must not trample on individual liberties, yet you cannot control how those in power will rule — yes, rule.

Those in favor of “health care for all” have either mocked the fears of those who oppose such government intrusion or dodged the question entirely. A government that controls health care has the power to control health care decisions. Opponents have argued that a government with infinite control yet finite resources will have to make choices about what care is allowed. The left has dismissed or ignored these concerns.

Now, those on the left must confront their most feared scenario: government intrusion into what they feel is a private health care decision. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., has declared her ambition to end private insurance. Every other candidate for the Democratic nomination is in lockstep. Should they realize their goal, they will encounter challenges like the Alabama heartbeat law daily. How, absent dictatorship, can they guarantee that elected officials or unelected bureaucrats won’t go against their most treasured beliefs?

What Democrats need to ask themselves is simple: Do they want to risk their perceived rights and liberty for a government-run health care system? They can’t have it both ways.

PAUL M. CURRY

Brownsville

Population is the real problem

Your May 23 editorial, “Positive developments, troubling signs: What a falling birthrate may say about us,” missed the mark by a mile. A lower birthrate anywhere in the world, including Vermont and New Hampshire, should be celebrated.

We are currently adding 82 million people a year to our already overcrowded planet. That’s about a quarter of a million new souls every single day, or the entire populations of Vermont and New Hampshire every nine days. All of these additional people require food, shelter, clothing and consumer goods. We are using the Earth’s resources at an unsustainable rate, and more people means more carbon pumped into the atmosphere, exacerbating the problem of climate change.

Humans need space, and our increasing numbers push other living creatures out of their habitats. The U.K.-based charity Population Matters quoted Sir Peter Scott, founder of the World Wildlife Fund, on the issue this way: “You know, when we started the World Wildlife Fund its objective was to save endangered species from extinction, and I am now near the end of my career and we have failed completely. We haven’t saved a single endangered species. And if we’d put all that money we had collected into condoms, we might have done some good.”

The idea that we need a constantly growing economy and more people entering the workforce in order to grow the labor pool or to pay into so-called “safety net” programs is a failure of imagination. A more progressive and fairer tax system and an adjustment to the increasing disparity between the top and the bottom in our society may seem like difficult issues to tackle, but continued population growth creates much larger problems.

RON EBERHARDT

Plainfield

Greensboro Road church proposal makes no sense

The proposal to build a church on Greensboro Road, a residential area in Hanover, makes absolutely no sense to me. A residential area is zoned as such to maximize green areas and minimize automobile traffic. Fifty years ago, when many people walked to church, it may have made sense to put a church in a residential area. Today, few people walk to church. Personally, I have not walked to church for 40 years. I don’t believe that many potential members of the new church live within a mile of the proposed site, which is why the proposal includes a major parking lot.

I have to leave the problem of potential flooding of the area to the engineers. However, during the last major downpour a couple of years ago, my car was nearly swamped by water crossing the road at the point of the intended church site. Shortly after I passed, a portion of the road was washed away.

The building of this church, with its large expanse of parking, would surely exacerbate that problem. Residential Greensboro Road will end up with more automobiles, fewer green areas, more flooding and possibly more commercial development.

TIMOTHY WAGG

Hanover

Thanks to Springfield Hospital

There has been a great deal of press recently over the financial difficulties at Springfield Hospital. While this presents some real challenges, I would like to take a moment to pause and look at some positives and reflect on the benefits of having Springfield Hospital and its smaller satellite centers in our towns.

Recently, I had my annual physical at Ludlow Health Center. I am alive and well today as a result. My physician quickly and wisely diagnosed a symptom of a potentially fatal condition. He made a referral to Springfield Hospital, where I was further assessed. As a result of that assessment, I ended up at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, where I received a life-saving procedure.

I was treated extraordinarily well by all the staff affiliated with Springfield Hospital. Every individual was professional, highly skilled and provided me with the best of care. This team was there for me and acted expeditiously to care for me and return me to health.

I do hope the issues at Springfield Hospital get resolved satisfactorily and the organization continues to provide much-needed care to residents of the communities it serves. The hospital and its staff are there for us, and we are lucky to have them there.

GEORGE O. THOMSON

Ludlow, Vt.