Health Care

Posted Fall 2020

I believe that everyone deserves access to proper medical care. Affordable health care is an issue of national importance. Over the past six years, the Vermont legislature the Green Mountain Care Board have explored options for health care reform. Many of us in the legislature have not given up hope that we can move towards a single-payer health care system that will provide health care for every Vermonter.

My experience in the Public Health Service and as a veterinarian has underscored my belief in the importance of preventive medicine. We need to focus attention on the causes of chronic health conditions. We know, for instance, that poor air quality causes respiratory disease and exacerbates asthma. We wittingly allow carcinogens and endocrine disruptors to enter our environment, thus increasing cancer rates and creating other serious health problems. Inactivity and obesity result in heart disease, high blood pressure, and metabolic problems. The epidemic of childhood obesity and the concomitant increase in early onset diabetes was the focus of a Surgeon General’s report. There is a lot of truth in the old saying, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." We need to encourage healthy living habits and diets, manage chronic conditions, and strive for early diagnosis of serious medical conditions.

We need to make strides in limiting health care expenses by reducing unnecessary tests and procedures, and by controlling bureaucracy and unnecessary paperwork. We need to move away from a health care system that is based on increasing profits for insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies. I am committed to making improvements to our health care system so that every Vermonter, without regard to employment, has access to health care and required prescription medications.