Who is the real villain?

Editor of the Reformer:

Michael O'Connor makes the outrageous claim that 60 percent of Vermonters have a disease like diabetes or cancer ("Make cost-shifting insurers 'feel the Bern,'" Nov. 3). I'd like to know where he gets that number. Citing a figure like that is recklessly irresponsible.

For most patients who need prescription medications, today's copays are quite reasonable. Often there is no copay or one of $5 or less for generic drugs.

The news we read about cutting edge drugs that do cost a lot is about rare diseases. R&D for products that will have only a small market do cost a lot to develop. But it is the pharmaceutical companies that sets the prices.

As far as portraying insurance companies as the villians, we should distinguish between profit-making corporations from not-for-profit insurers, such as the Blue Cross Blue Shield plans.

Tom Murray, Brattleboro, Nov. 3