It is a human right

June 16, 2012

Bennington Banner

I am a small business owner living and working in Burlington, and I am a member of the Healthcare is a Human Right Campaign. As an entrepreneur, I am proud to be able to create jobs in my community, but I want to be able to provide good, family supporting jobs.

Providing health insurance to our employees is a huge concern for us -- in fact we are considering cutting back and not creating new jobs so we don’t have to deal with the health insurance headaches.

Currently, we are spending way too much to provide health insurance for our employees, and unfortunately we made the difficult decision that we cannot afford to provide dental insurance. I haven’t been to the dentist in two years. I know how important oral health is -- how it’s connected to cardiovascular health and how essential preventative dental care is. But it’s a huge expense and one I can’t afford on my own.

We must not fall into that trap with Green Mountain Care -- my whole body and your whole body are worthy of care. Each Vermonter brings a different set of needs to our healthcare system. We must ensure that our new system meets all of those needs: We cannot cover dental health at the expense of mental health or prenatal care or alternative medicine.

We must have a healthcare system whose purpose is to meet our needs without pitting us against each other and imposing artificial and outdated constraints.

BEKAH MANDELL
Burlington