Letters to the Editor

Now’s the time to pass universal primary care

Jan 24 2023, 6:04 AM

Anya Rader Wallack's pitch for OneCare, like earlier OneCare promotional hype, could be an excerpt from “The Emperor's New Clothes” or an essay by an AI chatbot.  The syntax and vocabulary are English, but attempts to match them with real-world meaning or facts, even by those well-versed in health care data, lead nowhere. 

Where is one person who has benefitted from OneCare except by deriving income from it?  

Where is one person for whom OneCare has made previously inaccessible health care available and affordable? 

How is OneCare anything but a massive gaslighting enterprise that has conned the Green Mountain Care Board and stolen millions of taxpayer dollars by babbling nonsense about quality of outcome vs. fee-for-service ? 

Surely, conscientious providers have always known that prevention is better than cure, but also that prevention, diagnosis and treatment are essential complementary components of healthcare. What is desperately lacking in the U.S., including Vermont, is universal access to timely, affordable health care, regardless of one's age, income or employment. In what concrete way or ways is OneCare helping us achieve this goal? 

The Green Mountain Care Board and the state administration will apparently reward Wallack and other purveyors of OneCare hype forever for flooding the state with aspirational snake oil without producing any evidence of tangible accomplishment.

On the other hand, Dr. Deborah Richter's recent commentary explains succinctly and precisely how to make health care accessible and affordable in Vermont, through phased implementation of Act 48, already law, beginning with universal, publicly financed primary care. New legislation creating universal primary care is being introduced in the Vermont House by Rep. Brian Cina of Burlington, with strong backing in our veto-proof Legislature. Sen. Chris Bray of Addison County will introduce the companion bill in the Senate.  

Now is the time to pass it! Please urge your legislators to support the universal primary care bill. We need to make access to affordable health care a reality, not a OneCare fairytale.

Judy Olinick