Commitment to Community

September 09, 2011

Rutland Herald

All who treasure and respect life are fortunate to live in Vermont, where sense of community continues to be a key characteristic. Our experience with and continuing responses to the aftermath of Irene illustrate how caring and sharing benefit us all. When I travel, people express great appreciation for the standards and leadership of our small state.

Vermont’s ground-breaking commitment to provide equitable health care to all its citizens recognizes health care as a human right, collectively financed for the public good. We will share the benefits as well as the costs, and the per capita costs will be less than in our current crippling hodgepodge. (The wealthy, as in countries which already have universal health care, can finance additional special care for themselves, if they wish.)

The best minds in health care practice and economics, not those of political ideology, are behind the analyses to move Vermont forward. (What ideology opposes the common good? Certainly not those of Founding Fathers or any leaders responsible for progress we have known.) All sectors of the population have been consulted in the extensive hearings held throughout the state.

In the absence of a standard national system, it will understandably take time to work out the specifics for our state. We can all contribute to the result of better health care for all at less cost. In the end, more personal resources will be available for other individual needs and pleasures, creating an overall more robust economic environment. Most important, we will be healthier.