The real shockers

To the Editor:

I would like to respond to the editorial "Frankly, I'm shocked," in the January 17, edition of the Caledonian-Record. This editorial was about the proposal of the new Green Mountain Care Board's (GMCB) hiring a public relations person to help them to stay in touch with Vermonters about their work. It should also be noted that the $50,000 the board allotted for this job is $350,000 less than the $400,000 dollars paid to "communications directors" ("License to Spend," Andy Bromage, Fair Game, Seven Days, 01/18/12) that former republican Governor Jim Douglas hired during his tenure.

While one can dispute the merits of the board's proposal, what cannot be disputed is their sincerity and the shocking assumptions that the editorial blithely makes about the GMCB's work. "The only thing," the editorial stated, "Vermonters need to know about Shumlincare is that it is a socialized system." Why is this the only thing we need to know? Why does the editorialist here think that he or she alone is qualified to pronounce what we should know about the board's mission? Perhaps many Vermonters, especially the 47,000 uninsured or the unknown number being crushed by medical debts, would prefer a socialized-type system. Are Vermont's seniors unhappy with Medicare, the nation's socialized health insurance program for senior citizens?

Another shocking assumption is "The only thing we need to know about socialized systems is that they fail everywhere they're tried." Where have they failed? How? Where is the evidence, the facts? Are we supposed to simply believe because the editorialist says it is so? Is Taiwan, for example, with a socialized-type health care system designed by Dr. Hsiao, that covers each one of its millions of citizens at 6 percent of its GDP versus roughly 18 percent for Vermont, with so many still uncovered, a failure?

The success story here will be when the GMCB completes its work and no Vermonter will have to fear living without adequate health insurance ever again.

Walter Carpenter

Montpelier, Vt.

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