Improving Access, Reduces Cost

December 22, 2010

Burlington Free Press

Even though the United States is a signatory of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, whose anniversary we observed this Dec. 10, it still treats health care as a commodity instead of a human right. Everyone needs health care, regardless of their "lifestyle." In particular, everyone needs primary and preventive care, which can both improve health and reduce the need for expensive chronic care. The idea that we can control the cost of health care by denying care is backwards. We can control the cost of health care best by providing primary and preventive care, by eliminating health care profiteering and by eliminating administrative waste.

Working as a nurse for 20 years, I have seen countless families become financially devastated because of a tragic accident or serious illness. I have heard of families losing their employment, unable to afford COBRA, and making the choice to buy food, and forgo medicine. Universally, good health is considered a "blessing." For care of one's health to be considered a privilege, instead of a right, is immoral. It is time for Vermont, and the rest of the United States to stand up for real family values. It is the right thing to do!

Isle La Motte