In his commentary “Green Mountain Care Board fails to ‘do no harm’” (Messenger, November 22, 2020), Paul Dame contends that the Green Mountain Care Board should be disbanded in 2021, and disparagingly refers to "Gov. Shumlin’s experimental Single Payer Health Care system.”  

For the record, I am a single-payer advocate and have been on the Green Mountain Care Board (GMCB) advisory committee since its inception during the Shumlin years. Mr. Dame, a former Republican legislator, can critique the GMCB’s members all he wants as not having “the expertise to object to nearly anything,” but he should remember that most of the current board members were nominated by our current Republican governor.  

As for “Gov. Shumlin’s experimental Single Payer Health Care system,” it is our current health care “system” that is experimental. It is unique among the world’s democracies. That no other democracy wants to follow our example, or has turned away from it, says something about the grim results of this experiment. OneCare and the “All Payer” system are also “experimental.” While I do not support OneCare, the GMCB was charged by the legislature of Shumlin’s time with implementing All Payer, leaving it caught between the relentless demands of our so-called “free markets” to suck more and more money out of us, and our equally relentless inability to keep pace with these always-rising costs of a system based on profits and not humanity. Without the GMCB, these cost increases Mr. Dame complains about would be far worse. This will not change until our country, or our state at least, has the moral and political courage to value lives over profits and CEO compensation.  

Right now, we do not have that courage.

Walter Carpenter 


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