Many people commenting on Vermont’s healthcare reform have confused the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) and our state’s universal health care plan that has yet to be implemented. It is important that Vermonters understand that these are two different programs, based on two very different approaches to health care and health care financing.

The ACA takes effect in 2014. The recently opened "exchange" is a requirement of the ACA, which employs insurance as the device to pay for our health care. The ACA does not cover everyone.

Vermont has already enacted but not yet implemented a universal health care plan. It is scheduled to take effect in 2017. It does not use insurance as a device to pay for health care costs; instead it is publicly funded and, best of all, it covers everyone.

Any confusion between these two very different programs is likely to be used by opponents of universal health care to sow discontent in the period between implementation of the ACA in 2014 and implementation of universal health care in 2017.

The Vermont Workers Center is sponsoring a series of forums around the state in an effort to keep our universal health care system on track. The Bennington Forum will be held on Nov. 22 at 6 p.m. at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 200 Pleasant St.

LODIZA LEPORE

Bennington

Spray paint vandals

To the vandals that spray painted cars.


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My father has been suffering from a debilitating neurological disorder. Within a matter of months he has gone from being able to walk and drive to depending on a walker and wheelchair. He has also lost his sense of balance. In the last two months we have been going to constant Dr. appointments between Berkshire Medical, Albany Medical, and here in town. He depends on someone driving his car to get him to these appointments. His medical condition has been heartbreaking for this family.

So imagine my surprise when I went out in the afternoon of October 16 to find the windows of his car spray painted with black and silver spray paint. And a long black spray paint line on the body of the car. I just can’t believe that someone would have that kind of mindset to do something so damaging and cruel. Thank God there was not a doctor’s appointment that day! I learned that other vehicles in the area were also targeted. I don’t know if you will even see this letter if it makes it to print. But if you do, I just wanted you to know that you victimized a vulnerable adult. I hope someone knows what you did and has the conscience to come forward.

MARK CLAYTON

Bennington