Wed, Mar 7, 2012 10:02 AM
There is a lot of smoke blowing around in the conversations about
the cost of changes in health care. Some is based on estimates
and projections, and some is clearly purposeful
misinformation. But it is all made up. The simple truth
is nobody can say what it will cost because nobody knows yet
what will be covered. But everyone knows costs will increase
beyond our ability to pay if we continue with what we have.
There are things we do know for sure. Most people know if we want
to control health care costs in a way that helps our economy, we
need to separate health care from employment. Under the exchanges
the legislature is working on, if small employers need to drop
coverage, their employees will be eligible for subsidies.
Based on income, approximately 86 percent of all Vermonters
would be eligible for some amount of tax credit if they bought
insurance in the exchange. This is not a "maybe" based on
"estimates." This is already in the Affordable Care Act (Obama
Vermonters know this is a savings for the employer and employee.
And these tax credits (upward of $400 million in federal funds per
year) are good for four years. This is fact. Those small employer
tax credits allow us time to carefully design our single payer
benefit and payment system.
We also know that if we cut insurance company paperwork and profits
out of health care it will cost less. By now it's clear most
Vermonters understand it will be to our advantage to replace an
insurance bureaucracy designed to make money for it's wealthy
investors by limiting care. Otherwise we would have voted for a
different governor and legislators.
David Schoales, Brattleboro, Vt.