Opinion: Benefits end for Porter part-timers

Recently it has come to light that Porter Medical Center, which includes the hospital, the nursing home and the physician offices, is ending healthcare benefits for employees who work less than 30 hours per week. These part-time workers will no longer have health, dental or vision coverage as part of their compensation, and it affects all part-time workers: nursing, housekeeping, technicians, maintenance, clerical, food service — even physicians.
If you think it is absurd that a healthcare facility would deny its employees access to healthcare, you are correct. It is even more than absurd. It is a cruel irony. It is an injustice. And it is unintelligent.
Wouldn’t you expect that a healthcare facility would do whatever it could to ensure that their employees were as healthy as possible? Wouldn’t you, as a consumer of Porter services, want to trust that the people providing those services had assured access to good healthcare themselves? Please help correct and reverse this unfortunate situation by signing the petition, which you can find at actionnetwork.org/petitions/restore-health-insurance-for-porter-….
This action by the administration at Porter illustrates how a for-profit, market-driven system of healthcare leads to inequity in access to healthcare. It demonstrates why healthcare must be affirmed as a human right and considered to be a public good.
We Vermonters need to insist that our state government follow through on Act 48, which became a law in 2011. Act 48 mandates that our state will establish a tax-funded universal healthcare system to which all Vermonters have equal access regardless of income or employment status. Tell your state representatives and senators to bring Act 48 back to life and implement it.
And, as soon as you can, please let the administrators at Porter know that the people of Addison County do not want the part-time employees of our main healthcare facility to lose their healthcare benefits.
Millard Cox
Ripton

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