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Editor of the Reformer:

I am a resident of Windham County, concerned about health care and the status of Act 48, Vermont's Universal Health Care Act.

Act 48 was passed by Vermont's Legislature in 2011 and was scheduled to be funded by 2017. Since it is now 2018, the funding of Act 48 is long overdue.

I am a senior citizen, but proper health care coverage is a universal need for all Vermont residents, of all ages and walks of life. In Medicare Plan B, under the federal government, there remain deductions, co-pays, and ancillary expenses that are unpredictable and beyond the resources of Medicare patients who live on limited fixed incomes. Difficulties also exist for younger residents who do not yet qualify for Medicare. Health care coverage needs to be guaranteed for all residents, since they may lose, or be without, health care coverage that is offered through employment. Accessible, affordable, and comprehensive health care must remain a major focus and priority for our state. It is time for Act 48 to be fully funded, as it was intended to be when it was passed by our Vermont legislature back in 2011.

As with food and shelter, health care is a basic need for the survival and well-being of every human living in Vermont. Funding Act 48 will validate the quality-of-life commitment of Vermont's already-enacted law for universal health care. Vermont is leading the way with having passed Act 48 — now it is time to redeem that pledge and fully fund it, ensuring access to quality health care for all residents of Vermont — and providing many related benefits to our state, such as improved learning in our schools, increased productivity at work, and protection of public health through proper control of communicable diseases.

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It's time to get to work and finish what we started by funding Act 48. The funding and implementation of the Universal Health Care Act will be a great accomplishment for the residents of our unique state. Additionally, universal health care access is an advantage that is likely to attract workers and families who are considering relocating to our lovely and innovative Vermont.

Elizabeth Kroll,

Brattleboro, Feb. 26