Brattleboro, Vermont. May 13, 2020 10 -11 am Brattleboro Area Hospice’s Taking Steps Brattleboro (TSB) program will host a zoom Advance Care Planning/Advance Directive Question and answer Information session. If you are interested in attending, please contact Don Freeman by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 802.257.0775 ext 101 and leave your contact information so that you can receive the emailed zoom invitation and/or telephone call-in number.
Interested people are encouraged to attend this informational session to ask questions about how to complete or update an Advance Directive for healthcare including where do I find the forms, who should be named as an healthcare agent, who do I give the completed form to, and how do I talk with my family about my healthcare wishes if I am unable to speak for myself? Anyone over 18 years old should have a completed Advance Directive. This is the second weekly zoom informational session, which will be held each Wednesday from 10-11 am through June 24, 2020.
As Vermonters, we have heard the warnings to avoid crowds and unnecessary travel. We have heard the recommendation to wash hands frequently. And now we are hearing that some institutions, like Vermont Law School, Middlebury College, & Champlain College are closing their campuses. We also hear rumblings that school districts and perhaps even aspects of State Government will follow suit if and when the infection rate grows. We are being told that this is to diminish the transmission of the Coronavirus and therefore to save lives. What we have NOT heard is how 10,000s of workers are expected to survive with no wages and a limited access to healthcare if and when more workplaces shutdown.
So if I work for private non-union shop that closes its doors in reaction to the virus, and if I am receiving no pay, and if I have no healthcare, how I am expected to feed my family, pay rent, get medical care, and not face an economic disaster? Conversely, what if my work stays open but my kid’s school closes down? Without public (or affordable) childcare how am I suppose to care for my children? Where is the plan to protect working people not only from the virus, but also from economic ruin? Must we as workers decide between exposure to a deadly disease or total economic collapse? Or will that bad choice be made for us?
Do you and your family rely on Medicaid (Green Mountain Care) or Dr. Dynasaur? Do you have to buy private insurance, and worry about the rising costs? Do you have health insurance but avoid getting care because your deductible is too high? Are you dealing with medical debt? Do you have difficulty finding a primary care doctor?
Join others from the community at a public forum on the fight to protect Medicaid, keep local hospitals and clinics open, and fulfill the promise of universal health care in Vermont.
Instead of repealing the Affordable Care Act Republicans have found other ways to erode access to health care for more Americans. Policy changes, budget cuts and the elimination of programs have made it harder for moderate and low income Americans to access Medicaid, family planning services and a host of smaller programs.
These moves don’t make headlines and the people who are hurt by the changes may not even realize that they have lost something until they need a service. They also may not know that they lost coverage they may have had because they never tried to access the kind of care they had not needed.
On May 9 the Vermont Workers’ Center will host a Healthcare Jamboree. The event will take place from 5:30-8:00 p.m. at the Brattleboro Savings & Loan Community Room, 221 Main St., Brattleboro (rear entrance). People who have questions about healthcare or who are struggling with the healthcare system, costs or other barriers to care can get information about local resources and connect with others who are organizing for the human right to healthcare.
The Healthcare Navigator from SEVCA will be on hand to help with health insurance questions. There will also be representatives from the Inclusion Center, VT Psychiatric Survivors, the VT Department of Health, and other local groups sharing their resources.
By Karl Labounty
As President of AFSCME Local 1343 and as Vice President of the Vermont AFL-CIO, I take the rights of working people seriously. Like most Vermonters, I believe our democracy is best served when workers have more (not less) opportunities to vote on the issues which directly impact their lives. I myself labor for the Burlington School District as part of their maintenance staff. My fellow union members serve as custodians, bus drivers, food service workers, as IT specialists, and in number of other critical positions. In short, we are the backbone of public services. As a union member I take pride in the fact we democratically elect the bargaining teams that negotiate our contracts, and no contract is final until it is voted on by our members and approved by elected representatives of our communities. This, in part, is what it means to have workplace democracy, and this is a right that many generations of Vermonters have benefited from.
On April 13, the Vermont Workers’ Center will host a health fair and community meeting on health care issues accompanied by a free community meal. This event will take place from 5:15-8:00 pm at the Centre Congregational Church, 193 Main St., Brattleboro. Blood pressure and blood glucose screenings by registered nurses will be available, along with chair massage as well as other mutual aid and healthcare resources.
Having trouble getting the care you need? Concerned about cuts in services? Questions about healthcare? This meeting will include information and an opportunity to connect with others in the community on the (in)justice of our healthcare system and to discuss how we can make a difference.