By Alice Dubenetsky
To hear Governor Shumlin, the Democrats in the Vermont legislature and the line-up of single payer cheerleaders tell it, single payer will be the salvation of our state, covering every man, woman and child in Vermont for every conceivable medical condition while saving individuals and businesses vast amounts of money. It will rescue our economy. It will be a shining example on the hill and an inspiration to the rest of the country. Everybody in, nobody out! Is their rallying cry. It’s all about as believable as President Obama’s infamous “if you like your health care you can keep it….” Remember that enormous lie he repeated over and over while looking the American people directly in the eye as he said it? (Well, actually he was looking a teleprompter in the eye, but still.)
Vermont marches relentlessly toward single payer, regardless of the fact that the proponents still do not have a funding mechanism in place, or at least one they are willing to share with taxpayers, who are understandably curious about how much this scheme will empty from their already light pockets. The level of concern continues to grow among working Vermonters and businesses, and it often seems like Common Sense has fled the state, probably to avoid the coming single payer train wreck.
During a lazy browse through the web, you search for information with which to prepare for this upcoming Single Payer Unicorn and Sunshine System, or alternatively for some indication that the legislature has had a sudden, collective onset of fiscal reality. You persist in these searches because you stubbornly insist that this crazy idea is a joke perpetrated by the greatest group of jokers ever, and suddenly you stumble across….Vermont Common Sense. Good old VCS has parachuted back in on a mission to inform the gullible and lead us back to sound management and governance. It might be Mission Impossible, but it’s good to see the wise old fellow again.
Vermont Leads is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting public funded health care. To that end, like the rest of humanity, they have a Facebook page through which they connect and share ideas with their supporters. Because you are not only open minded, but really want to know what on earth these people are thinking, you log on and click on the ‘recent comments’ section, prepared for an onslaught of left-wing rhetoric. But wait a minute…hold on… can it be you are not alone after all? That not everyone in Vermont supports a single payer utopia? Apparently not, and interestingly enough, people are not shy about sharing their opinions on Vermont Leads own Facebook page. Below is a sampling of some of the most recent postings on the page. (Names have been reduced to initials).
Poster SL, a fan of Dr. Suess, but not of Dr. Government, writes :“I do not like this Uncle Sam, I do not like this health care scam….” There is more to his post, but this pretty much sums it up.
JG calls it out for what it is: “Socialism will kill the opportunities you thought you had…just ask the people of Canada who have to wait for months to see a specialist.”
JR brings personal knowledge: “Great! Terrible health care like England and Canada, I am English and I know.”
Then MS rode in on his unicorn to straighten out the wrong-thinkers: “Why is it that when people are whining about single payer, the sources they use are heavily biased and come from right wing think tanks? Don’t (sic) anyone know that they skew those sources to make health insurance companies happy?” Maybe MS forgot that the health insurance industry leapt into bed with Obamacare without so much as glass of wine or a nice dinner.
SL reappeared to state the sadly obvious: ‘DISSENT WILL NOT BE TOLERATED. Single payer is not about health care, it is about control.” Well put, SL. Just as the federal government controls our schools and highways with the flow, or withdrawal, of funds, so it will control our health care. It is the nature of overblown government, both state and federal.
SLK also speaks from experience: “Well, as someone who came from Canada and still has multiple relatives living there dealing with Universal Care problems, let me ask; how are you going to put Universal Care in place, still give people access to quality care when they have big problems, and save money? I don’t believe you can do both, you either have to pay more and keep access to high quality health care for all or cut costs and reduce the health care people get. Ask Canadians about wait times for MRI, Cat Scans, Chemotherapy, Access to specialists in a timely manner, etc. Especially older people should be wary of what they will get based on their age in a Universal system.”
MS cantered in on a unicorn borrowed from the other MS to add this: Keep your eye on Vermont Leads as they show the country what real universal health care is with SINGLE PAYER. SINGLE PAYER can be implemented in every state according to the Affordable Healthcare Act. This should make both the “people over profits” and “state’s rights” people happy, its the right thing to do, and it is the most cost effective method to deliver health care to its citizens.” Even the unicorn couldn’t take this wooly rhetoric. MS will be out of the hospital soon, and we are all glad it happened before Vermont finalized the socialization of health care. We hope his posterior heals quickly.
And then, at last, RW stepped up, armed with a chart that compared Green Mountain Care taxes with Vermont’s major tax resources and THAT scared all the unicorns away, dimmed the sunshine and flipped a spotlight on the real issue: “Universal healthcare at any cost? When the doomed-to-fail single payer model crashes, it will HURT people and leave them with NO alternatives. As this proven, failed model is enacted, it will pick the pockets of Vermonters, all Vermonters. It will impact businesses who will then refrain from adding new jobs, which will further hurt Vermonters. This is such obvious foolishness – the kind that is grossly irresponsible. I can’t believe people think they are being “compassionate” by taking this route. There ARE other ways to reform the system that WILL reduce costs and care for the poor. It’s called a true free-market system and there ARE examples in this country that are working this way now.”
This week, Vermonters will attend Town Meeting Day, and in many towns they will have a chance to hear from, and question, their state legislators. They will have a chance to ask them if they value fanciful dreams unfounded in reality over fiscal responsibility, a vibrant economy and opportunities for hard working Vermonters to stay in the state they love and to see Vermont prosper. They have a chance to ask, firmly, “WHERE IS THE MONEY COMING FROM”, and they should insist upon an answer, not deflection or prevarication.
And maybe, they should check the parking lot for unicorns.