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HEALTH CARE OPINIONS & EDITORIALS



Con, along with colleagues Dr Deb Richter and Terry Doran have worked over the years to bring needed change and reform to health care. Following are several opinion/editorials that have appeared in Vermont newspapers over recent years about health care and related subjects.

Former Vermont Secretary of Human Services Con Hogan says lawmakers must pursue a single-payer health care system. 2009

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Op Ed - The Role of Schools in Preventing Childhood Hunger - David Bickford, Northfield, VT. - March 30, 2007

In a previous Op Ed we advanced the case that there is hunger among many children in Washington County.
The CHAIR (Community Hunger Assessment, Intervention, and Resources) group that has formed in Washington County has several times recently to fashion fundamental strategies and approaches to combat hunger in our region. One of the inescapable realities is the role that schools can and do play in ameliorating hunger and nutrition problems that face too many of our children.

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Op Ed - The Role of Community in Alleviating Childhood Hunger and Malnutrition - Cornelius Hogan, Plainfield, VT.

We have gotten so used to assuming that there are programs that will make sure that our neighbors are not going hungry or not suffering from the cold. Sadly, the programs that helped people meet their basic needs have been eroded over the past 30 years and, with the rising costs for food and fuel, many more people including children are going hungry. Vermonters have always been willing to help members of their community once they are made aware of the need. With rising costs, more people are going without food and we need to look around us and make sure that there are adequate food programs, especially for children.

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Op Ed - What we've learned about hunger - Cornelius Hogan, Plainfield, VT, Sept. 20, 2009

Almost three years ago, the Vermont Campaign to End Childhood Hunger gained extraordinary support from the Northfield Savings Bank in the form of a $450,000 grant to pursue the mission of lessening hunger in Washington and Chittenden counties over a three-year period. Part of the Campaign's process was to create regional citizen councils in Washington and Chittenden counties. The Washington County Council has been co-chaired by Mary Hooper, Mayor of Montpelier, and me, and has had active and steady participation and coordination by organizations and individuals such as the Central Vermont Community Action Council, Food Works, The Family Center of Washington County, Central Vermont Council on Aging, the Vermont Foodbank, Community Connections, local churches, several local food shelves, local representatives of the Agency of Human Services, representatives of our congressional delegation, school food service officers, a school superintendent, and others, too numerous to specifically name.

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Op Ed - The Story of Lost Opportunity...and Its Consequences - Cornelius Hogan, Plainfield, VT

The State of Vermont is witnessing and participating in an unraveling of the capacities of its governments at all levels. And much of the problem could have been avoided.
Lost opportunity is grossly wasteful. This is because it is accumulative. Major opportunity lost at one point in time repeats itself in every subsequent year, until the accumulation becomes a serious threat to financial stability. This has happened in Vermont roughly over the last 15 years, and now government and the people it serves, are paying the price.

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Op Ed - Health Care Reform: What is the 'Make or Break' Issue? It's the COST of Health Care - Cornelius Hogan, Plainfield, VT

The uncontrolled rising cost of health care is a virulent cancer that is infecting all aspects of our economic and family lives. It has metastasized well beyond what it has done to our ability to obtain access to health care. It is having deep and serious impacts on the economies of our families, businesses, our communities and states, our economy in general. It impacts the capacity of health care providers, hospitals, physicians, and services for the elderly, to provide care.

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Op Ed - My Turn: The way forward on health care - Cornelius Hogan, Plainfield, VT 4/13/2009

President Obama and Budget Director Orzag are "on the money" in their views about controlling the cost of health care being the key to future health care access and quality, plus the role that controlling health care costs plays in our economic recovery. Without controlling cost, all changes and initiatives currently in motion and contemplated will not work and will quickly make things worse.

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Op Ed - At Last: An Opportunity to Begin to Control the Cost of Health Care - Cornelius Hogan, VT

After several expensive and tentative efforts by the Legislature to 'reform' health care, there is finally an opportunity to do something serious about controlling the costs of health care in the near term.

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Op Ed - Another Year of Health Care Reform Failure - Cornelius Hogan, VT

Yet another year of health care reform failure is behind us. Another year has passed with even more Vermonters uninsured, and for those that have coverage, the costs are even higher than ever. The Vermont Legislature, once again passed a paper and rhetorically heavy 51 page bill (that could have been constructed in 5 pages), again misusing the phrase 'health care reform'.

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Op Ed - My Turn - Cornelius Hogan, VT

How I Will Know When the Country is on the Right Track Again
I was in a position to have an impact on the health care debate in my little state in the 90's. But I didn't. I wish I had. At the time I was Secretary of Human Services for Vermont. Things on the health care front were doing well. At our best, out of a population of 620,000 people, only 42,000 didn't have health care coverage. Virtually all of our children did. As a result we were lauded as having one of the highest percentages of people having health care at 93%, with the prospect of covering everyone if we put our minds to it. Most of it was comprehensive health care. We were fat and happy.

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Op Ed - Unfinished Business - Cornelius Hogan, VT 1/22/07

Last Spring, after almost two years of legislative and political angst, the Vermont Legislature passed, and the Governor signed into law, the Catamount Health Care Bill. At the time there was considerable rhetoric advanced about the hyper-importance of this legislation. Words and phrases such as 'historic', 'breakthrough', and 'a bill of national significance' were bandied about by those engaging in self congratulations. The bill was also characterized as making health care more 'affordable' by the Governor, and was also presented in the light that it will help moderate the roaring rising costs of health care

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Op Ed - Con Hogan - Health Care in Vermont...Looking Ahead - 5-06

The legislative session is over, and the dust is settling, and it's time to think ahead a little. The question on the table is what will happen to Vermont health care now that the Governor's bill is now becoming law.

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Op Ed - The Facts About Vermont's Health Care Reform Published xx/xx/xx

Last July the Administration produced a well written "Overview of Vermont's Health Care Reform". Included in the document were the three goals of the current 'reform', namely, to: increase access; improve quality; and contain costs.

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Op Ed - IGNORING IMPORTANT NEWS - By CORNELIUS HOGAN, DEBORAH RICHTER, M.D., And TERRY DORAN - April 25, 2007

Several weeks ago an important report commissioned by the Vermont's Health Care Commission was quietly posted on the Legislative Council Web site. No fanfare, no press conferences, no attention given. Media ignored it. The committee that ordered it ignored it. The Legislature ignored it. The administration ignored it. The report's findings tumbled into the political abyss.

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Op Ed - GOING FORWARD - Con Hogan (prepared for Coalition 21 in January 2007, published in March 2007

Vermont made a run at health care reform over the last two years and ended up passing the Catamount bill. Much energy and work is being applied to the two main aspects of the bill, namely enrolling people who cannot currently afford health care into a health care plan, and putting together the machinery to apply managed care techniques to about three quarters of the Vermont population diagnosed with a chronic disease. Given the above realities, the following is my projection as to what will happen on the health care front, at the state and federal level, as we go forward:

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