As Vermont marches ever closer to being the first state in the union to have universal healthcare, we started wondering why Vermont? What’s been happening in Vermont that has propelled it forward as a healthcare pioneer. So we found this interesting feature from the Associated Press on Dr. Deb Richter, one of the key figures to push for universal healthcare in Vermont, and we thought it was very worth sharing with you:
Even now, Dr. Deb Richter is haunted by images of some of the patients she saw at inner-city clinics where she worked in Buffalo, N.Y., during the 1980s.
One young man without health insurance didn’t get the early intervention he needed for diabetes. He went blind, got an infection and died at 21. His sister, who also had lived with juvenile diabetes, delivered a baby three months premature. The baby died. Two years later, the 25-year-old woman suffered a heart attack and died during coronary bypass surgery.
“I had patients who were dying at young ages of preventable diseases,” Richter said.
One common symptom: Lack of health insurance.
The experiences prompted Richter, 55, to become an activist. She joined Physicians for a National Health Program. After moving with her family to Vermont in 1999, she continued to pursue her goal of a publicly financed universal health care system.
Do you think universal healthcare will pass in Vermont? Tell us about it!
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