We need it now

March 01, 2018

Times Argus

When is a tax not really a tax? As state Sen. Claire Ayer was quoted as saying in an article covering the universal primary care hearing at the State House in January, “It is more like an investment.”

Just as it is with taxes that are paid for education, fire, ambulance and police protection, we are investing in all our residents, health as a group, not as individuals; health care for all.

Can a person’s worth ever be measured by how much money they pay in taxes? The argument is often used that our most affluent members of society pay the most in taxes. However, if you look at the percentage of their income that they are paying out, you suddenly realize that they are paying far less percentage-wise than those of us who are much poorer.

What with all the deductions, now limited only to those really most affluent, this will probably cause huge crises in supporting many of our most treasured nonprofit entities while letting those at the top become even more wealthy as the bottom crumbles. Universal primary care is just a single step to help change this very reactionary financial policy in Vermont.

We truly all need universal primary care and we need it now.

Mary Alice Bisbee