Single Payer - use caution on Election Day

To the Editor:

With the Vermont Health Connect website being shut down for repairs (i.e. for the features that should have been built into the system before it was ever launched), with several tens of millions of dollars having been wasted on earlier editions and numerous promises not kept, many Vermonters now doubt the ability of the state to manage the health care enterprise.

It is against that backdrop that we consider the single-payer system (i.e. state-mandated system) rammed through the Legislature as part of Gov. Shumlin's health care reform plan. Unfortunately the governor has failed to deliver the funding plan mandated in the very statute he signed into law. The statute required that the governor submit his funding plan to the Legislature by January of 2014.

As should be obvious, the governor already knows that the single-payer funding mechanism would impose draconian burdens on employers, employees and all Vermont taxpayers. Doubtless, legislators supporting single-payer also know that. Are they betting on voter naiveté to get them through the election before disclosing the truth? What hubris!

Voters should candidly ask incumbents and legislative candidates whether they will act to delay single-payer implementation for at least a year while the economic impact of single-payer is clarified. What will be the impact on creation and/or elimination of badly needed jobs in Vermont? Will taxpayers and working residents leave the state? Will single-payer health care entice more non-taxpayers to migrate to Vermont?

Perhaps voters will have the wisdom and courage to hand single-payer purists a surprise -i.e. defeat in the November election.

Pete Gummere

St Johnsbury, Vt.


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