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To the editor:

I work as an after school teacher and a personal care assistant in the city of Burlington. I love my jobs — I spend my time caring for people and making their lives easier. Unfortunately, this care work is not paid well and I do not receive benefits. If I didn't have Medicaid, I would not have health insurance. I'm young and healthy — I eat vegetables, don't smoke, and get lots of exercise. When I started getting heart palpitations a few months ago, I was terrified. Luckily it turned out to be nothing, but it was a chilling reminder that I won't be young forever, and my good health and therefore my ability to work and support myself could vanish in an instant.

Healthcare isn't just a moral imperative, but an economic one. If one of my heart palpitations had turned out to be a symptom of something more serious, and I had racked up medical bills or been out of work, I would not have been able to pay rent. I would have become destitute, which aside from being a state no human should have to experience, would have cost the state of Vermont money. No one wins when people get too sick to work. Universal healthcare is economically, morally, and logically superior to the patchwork system we have now. Everyone should get the same access to quality healthcare regardless of income or pre-existing conditions. This is why I am a member of the Healthcare is a Human Right campaign. We are not strong as a nation until we are caring for every American.

Thank you for the opportunity to let my voice be heard. I appreciate the work you do in spreading the stories of real Americans.

— Wiley Reading



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