Dr. Margaret Newton

Conservatives target pre-election scare tactics at Medicare recipients

Dan Feliciano, Libertarian gubernatorial hopeful, and Republican Rob Roper, president of Ethan Allen Institute, have been running scare tactics before the Nov. 4 election - tactics aimed at Medicare recipients, probably to intimidate them into not voting for incumbent Governor Peter Shumlin.

These two free-market proponents are implying that Vermont's Act 48 and Governor Shumlin are deceiving our Medicare recipients. They claim that Act 48, which outlines the rules for a future single-payer plan - Green Mountain Care/universal health care for all Vermont residents - specifies that the state and our governor can, and intend to, take over Medicare administration and use the Medicare money as the state chooses.

But: federal law prohibits this, and current Medicare recipients have and will have the exact guidelines and services that are now in place. The Affordable Care Act, our present federal health-care law, guarantees that until at least 2017.

An act of Congress is required to grant permission to change the law, and there is no such act moving in the Congressional pipeline.

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Supply and demand

As we move forward with health-care policy, we face a shortage of primary care doctors, an essential part of an ultimate plan for universal health care

In Economics 101, we learned something about supply and demand. When shortages exist for goods and services, or for specialized personnel - such as receptionists and doctors - waiting lines and times lengthen. Prices might rise for scarce resources. In health care, patients with long waits might suffer. In...

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Small business jobs and health insurance

The owners of Putney's much-loved Front Porch Café recently announced that they are closing their doors because of the recession, rising food costs and rent, shrinking income, etc. As a lover of the food and warmth of this little café, I rushed over for a last meal. I ordered...

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Vaccination-skeptical parents put entire community at risk

This year, Vermont had one case of confirmed measles (in Southern Vermont), after a measles-free decade, and 118 measles cases were reported nationwide as of May, many having resulted from exposure of unvaccinated visitors to places like France, where 10,000 cases were reported as of May. This should be a wake-up call to all parents who have signed waivers to prevent vaccinating their children. Vermont and 16 other states permit parents with a religious or philosophical reason to sign a...

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