The Tri-City Herald and other mainstream media have run endless stories about the disastrous rollout of the federal health care exchange website for the Affordable Care Act -- properly called "Romneycare" -- and more stories about people outraged that they can't keep substandard insurance.
The media have kept it secret that Vermont is in the process of using the ACA to implement a single-payer universal health care plan. It will cover 100 percent of Vermonters, has no enrollment problems (everyone is covered) and no premiums, so it is affordable. It does this by getting rid of the insurance companies, those middlemen who make a profit on pain and suffering but who render no health services at all. Vermont treats health care as a right, not a privilege.
Romneycare took years to achieve near universal coverage in Massachusetts. I guess it is not news that Vermont's plan, signed into law in May 2011, is undergoing a three-phase implementation and will be fully operational by 2017. Washington state could do the same. U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., has worked with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders on a single-payer plan at the federal level. To do it here with the state's regressive tax policies would be a challenge.
CHUCK EATON, Richland