The Vermont health care system, infrastructure and vision are broken, and Vermonters of all economic strata are the losers. The soul of the system is fine if you can afford it or access it when you need it. That is, the quality of care provided by medical staff from nurses to nurse-practitioners to physicians’ assistants to doctors is generally good.
But a major legal tenet of health care is “standard of care,” which is early diagnosis and treatment. If a Vermonter can’t afford or get timely access to care, the existence of a health care system is meaningless to them. 
I have several male friends who, between their entry into the system seeking help and an eventual diagnosis of late-stage prostate cancer, waited from eight to 13 months because appointments were so hard to come by. What, if any, is the health care system’s liability?
Failure to address such a critical statewide problem trickles down from the top. While having proven himself a solid crisis manager during the pandemic, Gov. Scott is not by nature one to address complex strategic issues and has not used his leadership voice to address and correct system failures at the policy and regulatory levels.
Instead, he has focused on his “affordability agenda” — a false economy, since it continues to generate cost-inefficient health care expenses at the remediative level. Our out-of-scale investments in curing sick people and our willful resistance to adequately funding mental health and addiction treatment, prevention, education and regulation are filling our emergency rooms and our jails. There is no more expensive way to fund population health.

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