Health care is a human right

ATHENS — Consider anyone you have cared about - a friend, family member, co-worker, neighbor - who has had or will face a life-threatening illness.

I don't believe that some of these folks should receive helpful health care while others with fewer resources should not. Your cousin or sibling with cancer and little money has just as much of a right to treatment as my sick loved one. Period.

That's the world I want to live in, and the world I want for my fellow Vermonters. Our health care should not be a privilege, commodity, or object of political bargaining; in 2017, it should be a fundamental human right.

In other Western democracies, citizens from all ends of the political spectrum support systems that ensure decent health care for all, and they expect that if they need care it will be available. Even with the wider availability of “coverage” that the Affordable Care Act offers, many people in this country still have little or no functional access to good health care.

In the wealthiest country on the planet this is not okay. People who are sick should not be subject to the added stress of worrying about whether they can get care.

This is why I support the Healthcare Is a Human Right Campaign, which is committed to seeing the vision of Act 48 enacted.

Act 48 is already the law in Vermont. While former Governor Peter Shumlin pulled the plug on attempts to fund Act 48, the law itself stands. Now, we need to gather momentum behind the movement that insists that our legislators fund Act 48 to implement affordable, high-quality, comprehensive, publicly financed health-care coverage for every Vermonter.

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