John VanDyke Wilmerding | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

John VanDyke Wilmerding 
Member since Dec 18, 2014


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Re: “Sanders Breaks His Silence on Trump's Election

Consult Federalist #68. I now favor the nullification, by the Electoral College, of the results of this election.

20 likes, 35 dislikes
Posted by John VanDyke Wilmerding on 11/10/2016 at 1:21 AM

Re: “Courting Democrats, Republican Phil Scott Airs a Familiar Ad

So why do they all look so very Republican?

18 likes, 15 dislikes
Posted by John VanDyke Wilmerding on 10/20/2016 at 1:44 PM

Re: “Former Trooper Had a History of Illegal Searches, Documents Suggest

This type of cop is the precise reason that since the mid-90's, Vermont has been imprisoning black men way out of proportion to their percentage in the state's general population. It has gotten so bad that we are now one of the very worst states in the Nation for 'dragnetting' -- profiling black men. For shame! Especially since Restorative Justice has been written into the law in Vermont since 1996!

14 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by John VanDyke Wilmerding on 05/07/2016 at 10:38 PM

Re: “In Robocall, White Nationalist Calls on Vermonters to Back Trump

I hung up on the robo-call the moment I heard the epithet "Donald Trump". I'm almost sorry I did. This guy is hilarious! It's absolutely ludicrous that in the 21st Century crap like this can pass for electoral politics. Only reason this guy is using the phone is so no one can see the white sheet over his cone-shaped head.

3 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by John VanDyke Wilmerding on 02/26/2016 at 1:14 AM

Re: “Amid Corren Dispute, Sorrell Seeks Change in Public-Financing Law

I am glad that Bill is speaking to the issue of judicial discretion in this issue.

1 like, 3 dislikes
Posted by John VanDyke Wilmerding on 04/13/2015 at 9:47 PM

Re: “Analysis: Caving on Single-Payer, Shumlin Forfeits Remaining Credibility

Do not underestimate the people of Vermont! We want universal health care coverage for Vermonters, and we will see that it happens!

My interpretation: the Governor too is utterly convinced and persuaded that Universal Health Care should happen. But as early as six months ago, prominent advocates such as State Senator Peter Galbraith were saying that if implemented on the Legislature's deadline (2017), "single payer" would "destroy the Vermont Democratic Party". Why would he say such a thing?

The reason is that there is an absolute categorical imperative for true health care reform to effectively dismantle the current system. The reason the current system is so harmful is twofold: (1) because it is humongously expensive; and (2) because many people cannot afford health care as a result. The reason it is so expensive is that it is the vehicle for enormous profits for investors. Obscenely high profit margins prevail in the for-profit areas of the health care industry, especially in pharmaceuticals and in physician specializations. And of course the reason that many people are denied health care is obvious ... they lack the incomes to purchase it.

Implementation of single-payer universal health care needs to remain the objective of health care reform in Vermont. But it requires a stronger legislative mandate, for one thing. Laws supplementing the current acts have to be written and passed that will allow the government of the State of Vermont to mandate the consolidation of various companies now based in Vermont who insure Vermonters, and take away the Vermont policyholder base of companies located outside of Vermont. Current laws failed to foresee the difficulty of doing this.

Here is what the end result of single payer should look like: the health insurance of all Vermonters will be consolidated into one company. Green Mountain Care is proposed to become that company. But perhaps there are not sufficient assurances that the process of devolving the covered policyholders of all companies into the coverage umbrella of one company will change the health care system in Vermont in a manner sufficient to effectively demolish the current paradigm, which allows for windfall profits and astoundingly high salaries and incomes to those employed in the system at the current time.

What I have proposed is that the ultimate single payer company be constituted as a mutual health insurance company, owned by its policyholders (the people of Vermont), that profit-taking be forbidden to it, that the funds which support it should be segregated from the Vermont government's general fund and established legally as a Trust for public health care, that Trustees be appointed (initially) then elected over time by the policyholders, and that the Trustees would have the legislative mandate to maximize coverage while minimizing expenses. It might also be helpful if some sort of law is passed forbidding people in Vermont from profiting (beyond some definite point) off the suffering of others.

So what is going to happen? New legislation will be written that extends the timeline for implementation of single-payer universal health care. Different groups of people's legitimate concerns will be addressed, such as allowing Medicare and the Federal employees' health insurance systems to be 'grandfathered' into the new scheme as 'primary payors'. A timeline will be composed which tracks the consolidation of all other existing health care systems in the state, and legislative mandates will be written and passed which permit this to happen. But not by 2017.

And when Vermont has done what it needs to do to guarantee health care coverage to all Vermonters, it will not be "single payer" because there will still be a handful of other "legacy" payers involved. So yes, the Governor is right on the money ... it is money difficulties which render impossible the implementation of "single payer" by 2017. The reality is that there will never be "single payer" until the region, or the entire country, adopt it. Until then, there will still be multiple payers. The opportunity still exists to overturn and replace the current terribly expensive and exclusive system ... and we can, and must, do it.

6 likes, 27 dislikes
Posted by John VanDyke Wilmerding on 12/18/2014 at 6:15 PM

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