The facts that matter

Dear Editor,

Julie Wasserman recently laid out a wise series of questions that we should be asking in assessing Vermont’s current healthcare reform efforts. Among them: “What portion of school budget increases are attributable to the rising cost of health care?”

Good question. But why limit it school budgets? Healthcare costs also contribute to budgets for police, road and highway maintenance, state government employees, the cost of consumer products, and everything else. The cost of health care even contributes to the cost of healthcare, assuming that employees of hospitals and medical offices get health insurance through their jobs, the cost of which gets built in to the fees charged by the providers.

We can’t solve our healthcare nightmare if we refuse to look at the facts that matter. The impact of healthcare costs on you goes beyond the premiums you and/or your employer pay for insurance, and the amounts you pay for deductibles, co-pays, and the many services that happen to be excluded from your insurance. You also contribute to the cost of other people’s healthcare through taxes that fund public servants, as well as through the prices you pay for goods and services, including services you receive from doctors and hospitals.

Rising healthcare costs are a major inflationary factor for the entire economy.

Think about that the next time someone indignantly claims that we “can’t afford” a single payer healthcare system like Medicare for All, which would actually lower overall healthcare costs while covering all of us.

Walter Carpenter,


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