Health care chaos is coming from the professional critics

To the Editor:

John McLaughry's most recent attack on Green Mountain Care (Health Care Financing Slides Toward Chaos; 4/30) is merely the latest in an unbroken stream of attacks on that program. McLaughry has every right to attack Green Mountain Care, and to attack it as often as he wants. However, readers really should be aware that John McLaughry simply hates the idea of universal health care provided without the middleman of an insurance company. He absolutely hates it.

If you doubt that, go to your computer and search for "John McLaughry Green Mountain Care." The series of attacks you will find vary as to the specific aspect of Green Mountain Care that is attacked, but they are remarkably consistent in their intensity and their ideological foundation.

This is not surprising, given that Mr. McLaughry devoted advocacy of free markets as the solution to everything. But zealotry is zealotry, and no other term can really describe Mr. McLaughry's determination to kill our attempt to remove health care from the grip of insurance companies.

McLaughry rarely if ever mentions the problems with our current system of health care. He raises the scary specter of a government board determining what health care people will receive, for example, without ever acknowledging that health insurer boards currently have that power. He stirs fears of outrageous costs for Green Mountain Care with nary a mention that the costs of our current system are already beyond outrageous -- how does coverage for two at $10,500 a year, with a $4,000 deductible sound, Mr. McLaughry?

It is a tragedy that Mr. McLaughry, his Ethan Allen Institute, and several other groups are putting so much time, energy and money into killing an idea that the majority of Vermonters and our legislators have decided to implement in an attempt to improve care and lower costs. How much better off would we all be in the long run if these people put those same resources into giving Green Mountain Care the best chance to accomplish its laudable goals of good, affordable care?

If only they could see beyond their ideology.

Lee Russ

Bennington, Vt.

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