Dog owners need a choice
I have two dogs that I happily get licensed every year and will continue to do so, but NOT at the new hike (“Two dollars for dogs” Dec. 5). My dogs will never go the Essex Dog Park, nor will I. One is a livestock guard dog and stays with the goats. The other is a house dog and will never go to the park as he has 10 acres here to hike with me on the property.
Personally I think that those who plan on enjoying the park should get a permit sticker like at Indian Brook. This way individuals with dogs have a choice.Donna Underwood Owens Aw Shucks Goat Farm Essex . . .
Grading scale discussion
Last month I wrote a letter regarding my concerns/questions about the grading scale currently used at Essex High school. I am pleased that the Union #46 School Board will be discussing this item at its Dec. 16 meeting at 6:30 pm in the Essex High School library. It is the first item on the agenda for that evening.
I know it is a busy time of year, but I would strongly encourage anyone with an interest in this item to attend the meeting.Robin Rhodes Astor Essex Junction . . .
Single payer savings
Last month’s “Avallere” report, commissioned mainly by business groups, predictably disputes some savings that will be realized by Vermont’s Act 48 single payer health care plan. However, before opponents of single payer start victory laps, some questionable aspects of the report should addressed.
The report overlooks that today hospitals and doctors in private practice write off over a $100 million a year in care when patients can’t pay their medical bills, which means that everyone else pays more. Added on to this are collection fees.
Single payer eliminates such losses. Every Vermonter will be a paying patient and charged the same based on an upgrade of Medicare reimbursement rates. This leveling of the medical paying field should lower non-medical administrative costs such as billing departments.
Even today, many hospitals flourish on mostly Medicare patients. Sponsors of the Avallere report, the so-called Vermont Partners for Health Care Reform, include those who have vested interests directly or indirectly in the current health insurance system such as Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont, the Vermont Business Roundtable, the Vermont Chamber of Commerce, Fletcher Allen, Vermont Association of Hospitals that lobbies for Fletcher Allen, and the Vermont Medical Society.
Five other reports: Lewin in 2001, Thorpe in 2006, Hsiao in 2011, the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation, and the University of Massachusetts in 2012 all contradict the Avallere report concerning savings from single payer.
Reports supporting single payer should be redundant by now as the evidence of savings in the last 50-plus years are visible world wide from developed countries, all of whom have universal health care, including single payer, with better results at less cost than our fragmented and inefficient system.Jerry Kilcourse Montpelier