Con Hogan, who served as the secretary of the Vermont Agency of Human Services for 10 years, says it’s imperative that Vermont adopt its own universal health care system at the Progressive Party’s state convention on Saturday. Hogan says the overall cost of health care is rising more quickly than in the rest of the country. He says Catamount Health, the state’s program for uninsured Vermonters, and the Blueprint for Health, a state initiative to curb costs associated with chronic diseases, will do little to control medical care expenditures in Vermont. The state must, he says, implement a global budgeting system for hospitals in order to rein in costs. This should be one of the first and most important steps toward a single-payer system, he says.
In the three video clips from Hogan’s speech that follow, he urges the legislature to take concrete steps toward creating a single-payer system, and he outlines the dire financial consequences of failing to substantively address the health care issue.
Lawmakers must put aside partisanship and substantively address health care costsHogan says legislators need to form a nonpartisan health care caucus and create a commission made up of experts to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of a single-payer health care system that would include the concomitant economic impacts on taxes, municipal and school budgets, and businesses.
“What is wrong with giving every Vermonter a Medicare-for-all card? Why do we have to make this so damned expensive and complicated?”The national health care legislation is “a financial disaster,” Hogan says. “You can’t control costs unless there is a publicly financed system for health care. This bill doesn’t even begin to think about it.” He predicts that if we don’t grapple with the issue very soon hospitals in Vermont will go out of business and the numbers of uninsured Vermonters will “explode.”
Editor’s note: Con Hogan is a member of Vtdigger.org’s board of advisors.