To the Editor:
The priorities of the legislative health committees in both the Vermont House and Vermont Senate were recently reviewed in the media. Apparently, neither committee’s plans involve dealing with the state’s crisis in health care, which I had thought would be a priority for committees tasked with health.
Why would I ever have expected “health” committees would concern themselves with the fact the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation reportedly says there are around 30,000 Vermonters with medical debt in collections and tens of thousands more who are paying down medical bills that have not reached collections? That would be a minimum of 50,000 Vermonters with medical debt, the majority of whom are in medical debt despite having health insurance.
Or with the fact Vermont’s 2021 survey reported 187,000 Vermonters under age 65 were “underinsured” (as were another 40,000 age 65 and older), unable to afford the deductibles and co-pays on the insurance they already paid for?
Severe health care problems affecting huge portions of the population somehow aren’t a priority for the legislators elected to serve those hundreds of thousands hurting Vermonters. Do you understand why? I sure don’t.
If these sound to you like problems legislative health committees should be working hard on, you need to let your legislators know — especially the legislators on the two health committees.