By Walter Carpenter
Roughly a month ago, Rep. Brian Cina, P/D-Burlington, a member of the House Health Committee, introduced H.129 into his committee. H.129 is novel bill, the first of its kind in the nation, in that it would actually do something for Vermonters that the U.S. has so far lacked the moral and political courage to do for its citizens. H.129 would make access to primary care universal for all Vermonters.
I had the importance of this demonstrated to me in a routine physical last week. Luckily, I am fortunate enough to “qualify” for Medicaid. If I had been on private insurance through the exchanges (neither of my employers offers health insurance), with its crazy high costs, my primary care doctor and I would not have discovered how my cholesterol levels are now abnormally high and are putting me in the danger zone. The doctor was as mystified as I was since I do not smoke, don’t drink, am an avid cyclist, kayaker, skier, and work a physically demanding job and generally engage in what opponents to universal care like to call “a healthy lifestyle.” The doctor attributed this alarming condition to genetics. My late father had this problem too.