If there is one issue that unites Vermontís Democrats and Republicans, it is the need to make affordable health care available to everyone. Governor Shumlin has a plan that attempts to provide medical insurance to all (Shumlincare), but the vast cost of the plan puts Republicans and a few Democrats in the position of opposing the plan.
Shumlincare will costs upwards of $3 billion; divided by Vermontís 625,000 residents thatís $4,800 each. So for a family of four, thatís $19,000. One proposal that surfaced this year was a payroll tax of 14 percent; 2 percent for the employees, and 12 percent on the employers. For someone earning $45,000 a year, thatís an annual insurance fee of $900 for the employee and $5,400 for the employer. Whoíd turn that down? Unfortunately, thatís a drop in the bucket towards raising $3 billion. Remember, itís $4,800 per year per person.
So when doing the math, do all the math. Shumlin did, and heís afraid to tell us his numbers. When he finally reveals, maybe the realization will set in that his tax plan is unthinkable. Then maybe Montpelier can get down to business reducing the costs of medical care. There are plenty of ways to do it; we just have to change the political focus.
Finally, when a politician says they fully support Shumlincare, ask them if they ran the numbers before pledging their support ó if they did, ask for the figures. If they didnít, and theyíre just waiting to get Shumlinís figures, Iíd question the value of their representation in Montpelier.
St. Albans TownMORE IN Letters
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1927, striking Colo. miners attacked with machine guns by state police; 1877, Thomas Edison announces invention of the phonograph, 1959, Alan Freed fired by WABC 770 AM for accepting payola to promote records.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln delivers short speech in Gettysburg, Pa.; in 1984, a Pemex LNG facility destroyed by series of gas explosions, 600 people are killed; in 1998, Senate builds fire under Bill Clinton.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1831 – Independent South American super-state, Gran Colombia, dissolved; 1856 - Fort Buchanan built to control Apache warriors; 1970 - William Calley Jr. goes on trial after 1968 massacre at My Lai, Vietnam.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: Wisconsin Sen. Joe McCarthy takes advantage of Cold War jitters and builds a tidy little fiefdom for himself on Capitol Hill. It's all good, but pride goes before you know darn well what. The junior senator is damaged going down.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1927, Leon Trotsky is expelled from the Soviet Communist Party, leaving Joseph Stalin in control of the Soviet Union; in 1970, Oregon DOT tries to dynamite a dead whale off a beach with a rather shocking result.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: In 1972, Southern Airways Flight 49 is hijacked, the crew and passengers held for ransom. The hijackers want $10 million and passage to Cuba. In 2007, in Santiago, Chile, King Juan Carlos of Spain loses patience with Hugo Chavez.