Vermont, N.Y. reform different


To the editor:

(re: “Patience for health patients,” Oct. 10)

As a Vermont health care activist, I enjoy seeing The Riverdale Press pop up on my alerts: Both for the frequency of your supportive coverage, and your insightful local contributors.

When I saw your editorial, I needed to respond, despite not being a Bronx resident. “The previous attempt — in Vermont — was a disaster” needs correction, and I hope this is OK with the editors.

Please allow me to offer some history as I was in the thick of that fierce battle.

No single-payer plan ever materialized. When Vermont passed its historic Act 48 mandating that health care should be a public good for all Vermonters, we were proud of our state legislature, taking the initiative to lead a health care revolution in America.

But the 2011 “Green Mountain Care” bill did not include an economic component. We wanted to do this in 2012, but the Affordable Care Act created chaos with badly implemented exchanges.

Our governor, fearing political reprisal, let administrative incompetence produce a GMC plan that was neither single-payer nor universal.

He folded.

Green Mountain Care wasn’t defeated by economics, but by our state government breaking trust with Vermonters.

So Vermont’s failure isn’t germane. The New York Health Act is an entirely different opportunity. The New York Health Act is everything Vermont’s GMC wasn’t. New York Health is single-payer, universal, affordable and economically viable.

Multiple objective economic analyses conclude it will cost you less and give you more.

Most Vermonters wanted single-payer then.

We still do. We’re hoping you’ll push your legislators and governor to do right by constituents and finally fix our broken health care.

New York, lead us to sanity!

Walter Carpenter


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Walter Carpenter,