Primary Care Essential

March 14, 2017

Times Argus

Imagine a health care system that allows you see a doctor when you feel sick without stressful billing considerations. Two universal primary care bills, Vermont Senate bill S.53 and Vermont House bill H.248, will do just that.
Primary care is the foundation of any successful health care system and also one of the most cost-effective ways for a healthy society. Many minor medical conditions are treatable before they become major ones if found in time, including mental health and addiction problems, as well as common illnesses. Unfortunately, this hasn’t been the case for many Vermonters and other Americans, especially those with individual insurance plans.

A recent Vermont household health Insurance survey has found that at least 30 percent of Vermonters under 65 are underinsured due to high deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs that discourage doctor visits, including primary care. A policy of this sort may be called “health insurance” but it certainly isn’t health care.

The cost of a primary care plan for all Vermonters is offset by its economic benefits, such as lower overall health care costs and premium reduction. The human benefits are incalculable as primary care recipients have lower hospitalization rates and live longer. Please contact your legislators and the governor’s office that S.53 and H. 248 are essential for the well-being of all Vermonters, which is not the case under our current system and most likely any future health care plans such as new American Health Care Act.

Jerry Kilcourse
Montpelier