Making Democracy Work

Letter to the Members of the House Health Care Committee in support of H 248

This is in support of H.248, which calls for universal, publicly funded primary care for all Vermonters.

The League of Women Voters joined other organizations in support of universal primary care at a press conference at the State House recently.

The League of Women Voters does not jump on bandwagons.

We study an issue and come to member consensus before reaching an advocacy position. The LWVUS used that process before adopting a position in favor of a national single payer health care system more than 20 years ago.

While continuing to pursue that goal, the League recognized that the individual states could provide models for the nation. In Vermont the League conducted its own study, adopted in 2005, to reach a position more amenable to state-level implementation. That position is the basis for the League's strong support for H.248. Our position can be seen at http://www.lwvofvt.org/files/position_on_social_policy.pdf.

Most health care is primary care. Accessible, publicly funded health care will save money. When patients do not delay a doctor visit because of cost, more complex, expensive care is avoided. Include mental health care and substance abuse counseling to primary care, and even more problems are prevented. Publicly funded primary care is an investment in public health.

Pass this bill to set the framework for this important basic human need. Let the Joint Fiscal Office provide a way to make universal primary care a reality for Vermonters in these uncertain time.

For the League of Women Voters of Vermont

Catherine Rader Member of the Board