Read RAD member Kelly Cummings' excellent piece in the St. Albans Messenger articulating why Vermont needs to stand up against the GOP health care repeal bill that will take health care away from 22 million poor, working and middle-class families—to give nearly $600 billion in tax breaks to the wealthy and drug and insurance companies. We need to kill this disastrous bill which will have a profound impact on Vermont:
51,200: Number of people who will lose health coverage in Vermont
32,900 will lose Medicaid (7,800 children, 1,900 people with disabilities, 1,300 veterans, 3,100 seniors)
18,400 will lose coverage through the individual insurance market
490: Number of Vermont millionaires who will get a tax cut
$41,222: Size of tax cut for millionaires in Vermont each year (average)
As Kelly articulates, now more than ever, we need to resist the GOP agenda and all join together to fight for health care for all. Read Kelly's piece below.
How is universal health care an attack on our liberties?
By Kelly Cummings, Franklin County, VT
I have been hearing some comments from Vermont Republicans who don't necessarily have anything good to say about the health aspects of Mitch McConnell's healthcare bill but do seem to think it's great the bill cuts out the mandate and eliminates the "attack" on Americans' individual liberties.
I just don't get it.
How has being kind and compassionate to your fellow human beings become an attack on an individual's liberty? Is that what we're calling kindness and compassion now?
Listen, when it comes to healthcare the only way this is going to work, so everyone can get the care they need when they need it, is for us to all be in this together. Rich, poor, Republican, Democrat, man, woman, young, old, etc. etc. This looming healthcare bill takes no prisoners. If you can pay, you're probably going to be okay. If not, you should prepare to hit very hard times in the not so distant future.
Is it possible for us to just see healthcare as a human necessity? And if we did, could we think differently about it? It seems it's being turned into a competition; team "DESERVING" and team "NON DESERVING"; winners and losers. If you can pay the price then you gain access and are "deserving"; you're a winner! If you cannot pay the price then you are blocked from access and deemed "non deserving"; you're a loser. Is this wise? After all, we are all going to need healthcare for one reason or another at some time or another. It really is universal. It affects us all. So to join universally for "universal care" makes sense. If we really want to have individual liberty - true freedom - in order to lead a healthy life, what we need to do is remove the cost driving and cost raising corporations and their legislative supporters that are really taking our liberty. The same ones who are, for some strange reason, putting us on different teams to compete with each other. But then again in their eyes, I guess it is better we compete against each other rather than compete against them. So should healthcare be a competition? Will the now "deserving" continue to be picked for the line up or might that change in the future depending on the circumstances? Is anybody really going to be safe with this new healthcare bill? Maybe those who can afford to pay to play, but the rest of us? Pretty sure that's a no.
We've got to drop the "I deserve" but you "don't deserve" mentality that is doing nothing but hurting the whole and the individual. We must not allow ourselves to be manipulated against one another and placed on competing teams. And if we do, there must be something they know about us that we don't know about ourselves.
We either come together now for the health of all or we will fall separately, one after the other. We may realize too late that it was not our individual liberty that was under attack when we joined together for a common goal to help one another but instead, the insurance and pharmaceutical companies and their legislative supporters all along, the true thieves and attackers of our individual liberty, pulling their chains tighter and tighter everyday while we foolishly fought amongst ourselves.
Here are some universal truths: our children will be born, we all will be hurt or become sick, our disabled will need care or assistance to help them be an inclusive part of this country, our veterans and our elderly will need care and residences that help care for them as they age. This is us.
And it is us who must rise to the challenge if we really are committed to making this country great again. Instead of take no prisoners....we must insist, we leave no one behind.