George Klohck

“When we look for people who will represent us in government, shouldn’t we look for people with a “can-do” spirit? I am thinking about leaders who look for ways to actually get things done instead of telling us that our idea is good and then going on to list reasons why it can’t happen.

There are six candidates who are running to represent Addison County, Huntington, and Buel’s Gore in the Vermont Senate. Ruth Hardy and Senator Chris Bray are both candidates who stand out ahead of all the rest. Sen. Bray, in his years in the legislature, has been tireless in his efforts to find innovative ways to protect the environment and provide jobs for Vermonters. Remember his program, Farm to Plate, which brought better food to us and created thousands of jobs. Ruth Hardy, in her professional life and volunteer service, has worked very hard to help communities provide the best educational opportunities in the most economical way. She was executive director of the Open Door Clinic for several years. But, that only begins to tell their stories.

Here’s an example where leadership is needed now: the high cost of health care, which is a constant worry for the many people who cannot afford good health insurance. Expensive insurance drives up the budgets of school boards who provide health insurance for teachers and other employees. And, businesses, especially small businesses, that try to provide attractive benefits for their employees struggle with high costs of health insurance. There is something that can be done about this, and Ruth Hardy and Chris Bray are the only candidates here who understand this and are ready to do something about it.

Universal Primary Care is a proposal that makes sense. It is the idea that public financing would make it possible for anyone to go to a doctor, a primary care physician, without having to pay. Hardy and Bray know that this would save lives AND SAVE MONEY.

How? Think about it! People whose budgets are tight would not put off seeking help when they are ill or have troubling symptoms. Earlier treatment often prevents more serious illness from developing and, in some cases, even saves lives. Easier access to doctors would keep some patients from waiting till they had to go to an emergency room for help. Clearly, universal primary care would save money and even help everyone live happier lives with less worry about getting help when ill.

It would take too much space to write here about all the excuses other candidates give for saying that this can’t happen now here in Vermont. I’ll just say that I do not believe them. These naysayers also ignore the fact that since 1989, Vermont has successfully operated Dr. Dynasaur, a universal public health care program for children. I believe Hardy and Bray, who give careful attention to what citizens want and need, and who apply a can-do spirit to find ways to do it. They will apply their energy in the Vermont Senate to work for universal primary care. Not only that, they will approach other needs of Vermonters in that same spirit.

Please join me in voting for Ruth Hardy and Senator Chris Bray.”

Reverend George Klohck is a retired Methodist pastor who lives in Middlebury. This letter appeared in the Addison Independent on October 18.