Don't turn back

November 14, 2014

Time Argus

On a typical foggy September morning I was commuting to work on my bicycle and every car was shrouded in a 50-foot cocoon of visibility. It occurred to me that what I was seeing was similar to how so many of us live — day to day — in our own protective cocoons. The way many of us cope is to deal with what is in our immediate field of vision and hope nothing serious happens to our health, to our family, to our jobs.

It is not our fault that we may not want to peer outside of that safe place. But if we did, we would see that we would have strength and empowerment in numbers to change the status quo because many of the issues and complex challenges are not of our own making but imposed upon us by groups that are governed by their own self interests. This situation makes it very difficult to see how the struggles we face are connected to each other and how to tackle them.

One of the leading factors in creating economic chaos is coping with a health crisis which immediately creates a downward spiral that many times leaves a person and their family shattered. Many of us are already paying higher health care costs in the form of premiums, deductibles and co-pays. On top of those bills people are also trying to pay their rent, student loans, child care, eat and simply keep their families safe.

This letter is a request to the 2015 Legislature. They need to step outside the safety of their conventional bubble and shift the paradigm. They must adequately and equitably fund the universal healthcare system and do the same to the state budget to responsibly provide the necessary services that are required by a caring society. Knowing that we do not have to worry about health care allows us to tackle the other enormous issues like climate change.

Vermont has come too far. We won’t turn around.

Sharon Racusin