Tag Archives: health care

Comments to Lamoille Family Center Annual Meeting – 6/20/18

Many thanks. It’s an honor to be invited home to be with you all tonight. I greatly appreciate the work you do on behalf of Lamoille County’s families and communities. I want to bring forth a few ideas that I believe are consistent with your mission and values. First, we know that investing in the determinants of child, family, and community well-being is vastly more cost-effective than trying to remediate the damage done by bad policy investments or, worse, neglect. The child who is hungry, homeless, abused, ill, or lacks access to daycare, education, or health services will inevitably show up in our emergency rooms, on our court dockets, in our prisons or in need of some relief from our …
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Our American Arrogance

Recent federal policies are putting our international standing at risk. Traditionally our moral standing as a world power lay in our persistent efforts to exemplify democracy, support international development, welcome strangers, and maintain a lead in technical, scientific, and environmental innovation – all while maintaining our financial and military hegemony in a fragile world. The notion that we know better than our neighbors and have nothing to learn from them is little more than a form of national racism – an arrogance that denies the fundamentals of learning: curiosity, open-mindedness, and collaboration. We are beset by internal problems like the cost, quality, and access to home ownership, health care and nutrition, education and a crumbling transportation infrastructure. We’re burdened by …
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Stay the Course in Vermont Healthcare

How quickly we forget. Just short of four decades ago, Vermont policymakers decided that a competitive healthcare system had not lowered healthcare costs, but was, in fact, driving costs up, as hospitals vied for more expensive technology and market share. The relationship between our thirteen community hospitals and our tertiary-care hospitals – then Fletcher Allen and Dartmouth – were tortured and riddled with expense. We decided that a citizen-regulated monopoly would better constrain costs, regulating towards a more cost – efficient and accessible network of integrated healthcare facilities, spanning sole practitioners, community clinics, community and tertiary care hospitals. And it worked. Looking at measures of access, prevention and treatment, avoidable hospital use, costs, healthy lives and equity, the Commonwealth Fund …
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We Can’t Afford Our Future

Periodically, we must relearn old lessons. A key such lesson is Franklin’s “Ounce of prevention…” adage – as relevant today as when Franklin applied it to fire prevention 250 years ago. Vermont has reached a critical juncture. We face some daunting issues we seem unable to fix. We’re expedient and well-meaning, but our efforts to tweak our way along are in vain and are now only add complexity and expense. Politics has evolved from public service into a lucrative career so there’s plenty of blame to go around, but attributing blame has become a political end in itself, defending empty ideologies and distracting us from actually fixing what’s broken. Special ed., emergency healthcare, mental health crisis care, drug rehab, homelessness, …
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