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The Commons
Voices / Letters from readers

Funding long overdue for state universal health-care act

Originally published in The Commons issue #449 (Wednesday, March 7, 2018). This story appeared on page E3.

I am a resident of Windham County concerned about health care and the status of Act 48, Vermont’s universal health-care act.

The act was passed by Vermont’s Legislature in 2011 and was scheduled to be funded by 2017. Its funding is long overdue. Accessible, affordable, and comprehensive health care must remain a major focus and priority for our state.

I am a senior citizen, but proper health-care coverage is a universal need for all Vermont residents of all ages and walks of life.

In Medicare Part B, under the federal government, there remain deductions, co-pays, and ancillary expenses that are unpredictable and beyond the resources of patients who live on limited fixed incomes. Difficulties also exist for younger residents who do not yet qualify for Medicare.

Health-care coverage needs to be guaranteed for all residents, since they might lose, or be without, health-care coverage that is offered through employment.

As with food and shelter, health care is a basic need for the survival and well-being of every human living in Vermont. Funding the law will validate the quality-of-life commitment of Vermont, which is leading the way by having passed the law — now it is time to redeem that pledge and fully fund the law, which would provide many related benefits to our state, such as improved learning in our schools, increased productivity at work, and protection of public health through proper control of communicable diseases.

Additionally, universal health-care access is an advantage that is likely to attract workers and families who are considering relocating to our lovely and innovative Vermont.

The funding and implementation of the universal health-care act will be a great accomplishment for the residents of our unique state. It’s time to get to work and finish what we started.

Elizabeth Kroll


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