LETTERS: 4.20.17

Let’s Get Health Care For All

Editor:

At this present time there is on the books in Vermont a law (Act 48) that says in 2017 the state will have in place a universal, single payer, “Medicare for All” health care system in Vermont.

However this is not happening today because in 2015 the governor delayed it by saying that the time was not right for implementing this single payer law.

Well … now is the time. The plan is essentially in place and all it will require is for the citizens of the state to yet again, direct their state Senators and Representatives not to listen to the lobbyists and make it happen this time.

Bernie Sanders, Patrick Leahy and Peter Welch, our federal delegation, all say they are very much in favor of “Medicare for All” and yet they have had almost nothing to say about getting it done in their very own state.

Let’s instruct our legislators and the Governor to take a look at the existing Act 48 law and get it implemented.

We will then have health care for all Vermonters. It will be more inclusive, more efficient and less expensive and it will not be owned by the insurance and pharmaceutical companies.

Robert Howe, North Bennington

 

Must Have Wind Energy, Raise The Sound Levels

Editor:

Wind energy is a critical and integral part of Vermont’s sustainable energy future. We must have it to achieve our state goal of 90 percent sustainable energy by 2050.

The recent Public Service Board ruling on sound levels for wind turbines is so unrealistically low (35 decibels) that it poses a severe threat to the future use of wind power in the state, making it functionally impossible to build new wind projects or for the 90 percent by 2050 goal to be met. While a standard for wind turbine sound levels might be needed, surely it should not come at the expense of the whole purpose of wind energy use.

Many states have not seen a need to develop wind turbine-specific noise regulations, rather placing turbines under general sound standards. States which do have a turbine noise standard have used 50 decibels or above. Maine, for example, uses a standard of 55 decibels during the day and 42 decibels at night. Vermont’s temporary wind sound standards set the noise level at 45 decibels outdoors at a residence and 30 decibels indoors. The currently proposed 35 decibels is less than that of a bird’s song. If other sound sources were held to this same standard, we’d be banning birds along with roads, dogs, and farms!

By setting sound levels for wind turbines more realistically above 40 decibels, Vermont can continue to make a winning investment in our sustainable, local energy future and support our resolution of 90 percent renewable energy by 2050.

Anne Jameson, Marshfield

 

I Work as an LNA For My Patients

Editor:

People ask me why I work as a Licensed Nursing Assistant. It’s for my patients. I give each patient my all, but with understaffing my all isn’t enough. Being understaffed not only burns us out — it’s created a less functioning work environment that isn’t safe for our patients’ well-being.

My work style is described as ‘hectic.’ I run around the unit all day feeling like I can’t catch my breath. Patients deserve their care providers to be attentive and present, not scrambling from one room to another.

It’s not just physical demands either — I make my patients feel important and cared for. This is who I am. I make patients smile when their day has been nothing but struggles and bad news. I help them gain strength and teach them how to adapt to new obstacles. Our patients deserve the best care we have to offer, but right now I can’t provide that.

Patient care and safety is lacking due to the staffing crisis that University of Vermont Medical Center administration has been struggling with for too long. Right now we’re unable to provide quality care. Our nurse managers, nurses and LNAs have done our best with what we’re given from the administration, but it isn’t enough. We want to become a union because with a voice at the table,  patient safety can be achieved and patient care wouldn’t suffer from understaffing.

We are the people providing patient care. Who better to advocate for our patients than us?

Jordan Schnabel, Licensed Nursing Assistant at UVMMC, Colchester Resident

 

What Do You Think?

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