To the Editor:

I am writing because I am very concerned about what is happening with healthcare. I have had many struggles with healthcare. I am currently uninsured even though I work in a health profession. I have two jobs to make ends meet. I have rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia which leaves me in unbearable pain a lot of times. I could get treatment, but without insurance I just can't afford it. I often wonder, should I leave one of my jobs so I qualify for more healthcare subsidy? I don't want to that. I could have a different job and get insurance but the co-pays would be too high to afford and I'm not physically able to do that any longer anyway.

My son can't get VHAP even though he is unemployed because he lives with me and has to use my income. So what will I do? Kick him out so he can get insurance? This system just doesn't make any sense.

Under the new Health Connect I'm forced to either pay for both of our insurance coverage or pay the penalty times two. I have no idea how I would make it work in either situation.

A real universal healthcare system based on human rights principles sounds like what we need. I am writing this letter with the hope that others will stand up and share their stories so the politicians will listen to us the people rather than just big businesses and insurance corporations. I also would like to register my support the right for all workers to have paid sick days to take care of themselves or a family member. With the family leave act you can take off unpaid and use vacation if you have it.

If you are in a job that is considered essential, they don't have to hold your job for you. No one should be punished and have to worry about losing their job because they need to stay home with a sick family member like I did when my mother was ill.

Merrillee Blair

Lyndonville