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Comment Archives: Stories: News + Opinion: Healthcare

Re: “Record Time? Checking Vitals on Vermont's Other Health Exchange

With 15,000 patients and probably a couple hundred wonks, that leaves like 500,000+ Vermonters without a clue about who VITL is and what it is trying to do. Are Privacy laws in play here?

And why in part, are my tax dollars funding this...? Now there's a power struggle brewing with Shumlin at the center.

That giant sucking sound is between wallets and Montpeculiar. Glad they are looking out for me.

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by MarkW on 04/02/2015 at 8:40 AM

Re: “Record Time? Checking Vitals on Vermont's Other Health Exchange

VITL's information exchange works, Shumlin's administration cannot come up with a workable Exchange, and VITL made it happen with far less money than has been wasted on the State's exchange. Do we really want Shumlin's people to get their hands on something that is working?

2 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by ConcernedVter on 04/01/2015 at 7:22 PM

Re: “UVM Campus Smoking-Ban Proposal Sparks Debate

Smoking is an addiction , that many find themselves never really able to break. I agree with the indoor smoking ban. And Educating young people about the Negative health risk, Yet I think we have taken it TOO far . By not allowing people places to smoke and pre-tending it does not exists ,creates the nasty butts on the ground, there by making smokers look even more in considerate.. Small children look at smokers as if They are bad dangerous people, as they can not separate a behavior from the person. I think smokers should not gather outside the library door. Give them a safe space with a astray

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Thinking on 03/27/2015 at 10:36 AM

Re: “UVM Campus Smoking-Ban Proposal Sparks Debate

When I was at Penn State about 15 years ago, they banned it, and that campus is many times larger than UVM so smokers had to go quite a distance to smoke. The school justified it simply by saying how much they spend picking up butts and that they wanted to save that money. They had a specialized golf cart type thing with a vacuum hose operated from the driver seat for picking them up.

6 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Damon Lane on 03/26/2015 at 8:10 AM

Re: “UVM Campus Smoking-Ban Proposal Sparks Debate

Smokers do not have rights. There is not a single piece of legislation ever passed at the state, local, or federal level, protecting the so-called right to smoke a cigarette. You no more have the right to light up in public than you do to swig liquor from a bottle in public or do any number of other things in public that are deemed a nuisance or a danger. I grow tired of these little people with their vile addiction framing the argument as if we were talking about the right to vote or to marry or any number of other true civil rights. It's especially disguising when it's a bunch of spoiled, self-involved millennials squawking and whining. As for Hipster Dickinson, who says it "makes us feel like the school is saying we're too stupid to understand the consequences of the habit we've chosen," well, it feels that way because that IS what the school is saying, and the school is saying it because it is true.

8 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Leonard Bast on 03/26/2015 at 7:29 AM

Re: “Health Connect Leaves Low-Income Vermonters Struggling

Does Carberry realize that if she is obtaining health care through her partner and they are not traditionally married (same sex marriage/domestic partnership is not recognized by the federal government yet) she is responsible to pay taxes on the value of that health plan? It is considered income because they are not traditionally married. Her tax liability could be in the thousands of dollars.

0 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Cheryl Pariseau on 03/25/2015 at 3:56 PM

Re: “UVM Campus Smoking-Ban Proposal Sparks Debate

A few comments
1. "nursing a newport" seems like clumsy language.
2. Change your major, Alex, unless your trust fund is large.
3. The Agront quotation is classic.
4. Smoking is gross and I don't want to be around it. Smokers do have rights, though, and simply forcing them away from where you want them to be does not solve the problem smokers create. Efforts should be made to create places where smokers can smoke without exposing nonsmokers to smoke.

6 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Mark Lade on 03/25/2015 at 1:48 PM

Re: “UVM Medical Center Has Grown Into a Billion-Dollar Monolith

Excellent report by Nancy Remsen. Note: where it says we agree with "state of the art" single rooms - we're not so concerned with state of the art. We need/good and appropriate tools, yes, but our statement was that we agree that it is much better practice for patients to have the privacy and a lower risk of contracting hospital associated infections that single patient rooms offer. Too often state of the art translates into unnecessary and exorbitant health care expenditures.

Posted by Mari Cordes on 01/27/2015 at 7:50 PM

Re: “Seventeen Spoonfuls of Sugar: Will Vermont Tax Sweetened Drinks?

Here's a smarter idea- why not LOWER the prices on healthy drinks?

Whereas it sure is swell to have an organic co-op instead of oh, an actual supermarket downtown for the locals to use, the prices on organic foods are through the roof.

They don't need to be. Everybody from those who make it, those who market, and those who stock it are adding price to get a profit. As a result all the poor locals have nothing to purchase they can afford save for soda at the mom and pop stores. (the fact that Church Street passes one law after another to discourage the locals from actually using downtown and upsetting tourists with their uncouth poorness is another issue... but we'll burn that bridge another time.)

I double dog- no, nix that, I TRIPLE dare at least one of the local organic drink companies to lower their prices. At LEAST in Vermont. I wanna see welfare recips on the Old North End wandering around with bottles of some kind of kicking fruit juice instead of extra large soda bottles. Right now in the average mom & pop down there soda is 3ish, 4ish for two- not one, but TWO- large sized bottles. I dare you to offer something healthy at the same price or cheaper. DARE you.

Who's brave enough?

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Walter Sullivan on 01/25/2015 at 4:38 PM

Re: “One Year Later: Was Opiate Addiction Addressed?

I still wouldn't walk the streets of Rutland at night without a gun. I don't think much has changed. The thugs get busted and they just move to another dump house and setup shop again.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by ron_biker on 01/16/2015 at 7:59 AM

Re: “One Year Later: Was Opiate Addiction Addressed?

So glad that progress in being made! Many good people are working on it. Another idea is to try to reduce the drugs coming into the state. I support implementing criminal background checks for gun purchases this year. The reason for this is that the drug dealers bring the drugs to Vermont and use the $ to buy guns here that they
can them sell to the south. We might be able to discourage them by requiring criminal background checks for
their gun purchases which they don't have to do now.

3 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Steph Holdridge on 01/15/2015 at 1:57 PM

Re: “One Year Later: Was Opiate Addiction Addressed?

So why didn't he mention continuing the "opiate fight" in his 2015 acceptance speech, especially when he made such a big deal of it in 2014? Why hasn't he allocated more monies to fight this problem? Putting a Band-Aid on anything is just that, a quick fix. I hope it wasn't just a political ploy and that Shumlin finishes what he started...

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by GeishaGirl on 01/15/2015 at 1:36 PM

Re: “Will Billings Comes From Paralysis to Run the Marathon

Will, way to rock on, brother. We are all proud of you. Ken Crites

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Ken Crites on 05/23/2014 at 5:07 PM

Re: “Vermont Has More Addicts Than It Can Treat, So Why Are Inpatient Facilities Losing Revenue?

I suspect most people who recently have had serious medical care agree that cost-driven medical decisions are just that - cost-driven first, treatment-based second. Medicine isn't special in that sense.
It's true for all sorts of businesses; families as well. Each of us makes the tough decision on 'must have' and 'like to have' when spending within a budget.
Mark Davis's report was an excellent example of the political positions the state takes on one side, providers on the other, both sides saying they represent ‘must have.’
I'd love to see some numbers.
How much does the state pay out to addiction-recovery providers? Where is that money coming from? What portion of the budget is it and what portion of the state-administered medical care budget is it?
Eventually, it all comes from you and me, the taxpayers. Are elected officials working toward the outcomes we want?
There’s a lot to consider but let’s limit it to three things. 1. Strictly by numbers, is it more cost effective to provide the limited treatment now available or are would lengthier, more effective treatment that benefits not only an addict, but the circle of the community in which he or she interacts, be more cost effective?
2. What kind of society or culture do we as Vermonters or Americans want to live in? Do we want to live in a 'heroin use is on the rise' world with lots of crime news to keep the media churning or do we want to spend some of our finite resources on limiting a pretty useless, destructive and deadly way to get high?
3. Are we willing to spend more than the state is spending now simply to help people on heroin? They're probably poor to begin with, probably otherwise involved in crime, and they're definitely non-productive. Is the Titanic a good model where hubris reigned and the lifeboats will only hold a select few or are we smart enough to figure out a way to avoid and effectively deal with disaster.
Don't get cynical about this. It's possible, without raising taxes, and without similarly underfunding or eliminating other deserving and essential programs, to make Vermont's heroin-treatment system work, at least better than it does in the picture painted in Mark Davis's story.

Posted by Gene Cassidy on 05/18/2014 at 7:18 PM

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