Healthcare Resource Info Hours

In Dec. 2022, Congress voted to eliminate the extra federal funding and requirement that states keep people on Medicaid. States will be able to start Medicaid redeterminations on April 1. According to the Urban Institute’s projections, up to 29,000 Vermont Medicaid recipients could be affected.

The Vermont Workers’ Center is hosting two drop-in informational sessions in the Community Room at the Brooks Memorial Library in Brattleboro. The sessions will be on Jan. 25 and Feb. 8, between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Members of the public are welcome to stop in to find out whether they will be affected, what their rights are in this process, and how to be sure that they aren’t cut off for bureaucratic reasons. People who are not on Medicaid and have questions about health care access are also welcome, as there will be other health care resources available. For more information, email

No Hope For Reform

As the pandemic unfolded it became clear how dysfunctional the American health care system is. There was even talk among a wide range of people about the urgency for the need for systemic reform. Sadly, when legislators talk that way nothing usually happens. They recognize the problem, say something must be done and then move on to the next pressing issue. Anyone remember gun control?

This has been the case both nationally and on a state level. The Biden administration has done a few things that will tinker with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to undo some of the damage that the previous administration did and make insurance a little more affordable for some people, but it is unlikely they will make any bold moves when it comes to health care reform.

Mass Vaccination In A Broken Public Health System

This country has underfunded public health for decades. We are seeing the results of that malpractice as we try to test and vaccinate a significant number of our population during the COVID 19 pandemic.

It would be simplistic to blame the departed presidential criminal and his team for their lack of action during the pandemic. Yet, they do deserve a good share of blame for not creating a national plan to deal with COVID.

In order to understand why the Biden administration will not find a way to test and vaccinate a critical mass of Americans within a short time frame it is important to know that this country barely has a functioning public health system.

The Next Phase

We are now entering a new phase of pandemic adjustment. The first few months were a novelty and, although many people had a hard time adjusting, it seemed that most people were able to cope while holding out hope for temporary change.

Now that it is clear that we are going to have to change our lives for the long term and that there is no exact time frame for society to re-open, people are losing patience. Early on, people were almost too friendly, trying to be respectful of each other in supermarkets and other places that have been able to remain open. But that friendliness is wearing thin and some people are taking out their frustrations on others.

Then there are the mostly brain-dead yahoos who think their personal liberty is more important than the lives of others as they protest around the country. Thankfully, they are a minority, but they are being supported by Trump. Some governors have decided that reinvigorating commerce is more important than protecting lives. That puts all of us in jeopardy.

The Maze of One Care

The public is not engaged enough in the process of health care reform. That is nothing new. Most people don’t get worked up about health care issues until they get sick and have to use their health insurance, if they have it, or when they find out about all the details of payment and coverage.

Yet, many polls indicate that health care is one of the most important issue for voters. What that means is that Americans who have to use their health insurance or who pay premiums are sick and tired of being used as pawns in a money game that should be focusing more on health and not as much on finances.

Meeting About Medicaid

Anyone concerned about changes to Medicaid is invited to a meeting on May 22 to learn about ways that Medicaid is under attack and what we can do to preserve and expand it. The meeting will take place from 6:00-7:00 pm at the Root Social Justice Center, 28 Williams St., Brattleboro. Doors open at 5:30 for light refreshments. The Root is handicap accessible, nut free and fragrance free. The meeting is sponsored by the Vermont Worker’s Center. For more info, or to request a ride or childcare, contact or (802) 257-4436.