Put People First: Health Care for All

January 10, 2013

Montpelier Bridge

To the Editor:

I am an uninsured resident of Vermont. I work on a fruit tree nursery in the Northeast Kingdom, doing work that I love and that contributes to the health of the land, the health of Vermonters and the local economy. I work hard and live simply, yet I cannot afford insurance or health care. I am afraid of having an accident at work or getting sick and losing my savings due to an emergency. I want to take care of myself, yet I cannot go in for preventative care. This leaves me feeling hopeless. Vermont’s farms and rural economies are hurting—farms are going under every year—and lack of access to health care is a huge reason why I and other farmers struggle to keep going.

Universal health care—a health care system that allow me to pay what I can afford and covers every person, including those without documentation—would give me the freedom to invest in work that I love. It would allow me to focus on contributing to a strong Vermont instead of being afraid for my health. I’m a member of the Put People First campaign, which is a way for me to come together with Vermonters and organize for a health care system that is equitably financed and let’s all people live up to their full potential. I know that so many in our communities are facing these same challenges, and I hope that they will join us in our campaign to Put People First.

—Sarah Claassen, Cabot