Senators speak out on health-care reform

BURLINGTON - Vermont Democratic Party Chairwoman Judy Bevans, along with Vermont State Senators Virginia "Ginny" Lyons and Claire Ayer, held a news conference this week at the University of Vermont Women's Center to discuss the proposed health insurance reforms currently being debated by Congress and the opportunities presented by President Obama's controversial health insurance reforms.

"Vermont is among the national leaders in how it administers health care. Our record of innovation should be used as a guide for Congress in this debate to overhaul the nation's health care system," said Bevans.

The trio also discussed the need for greater consideration of women's health issues and how these concerns need to be part of the national conversation.

State Sen. Claire Ayer, R.N. (D-Addison) has worked for a number of years in a Middlebury

Obstetrics and Gynecology office. She related the story of a young woman who also worked in the office who had received news of an abnormal medical test result. The woman could not afford the necessary treatment and, even though her co-workers offered to help her cover the cost, she couldn't bear the idea of owing money and subsequently never sought treatment.

State Sen. Ginny Lyons (D-Chittenden), who is a member of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee, said, "Vermont law bans gender discrimination by health insurers. Vermont law gives equal access to health insurance for people with prior health conditions like arthritis or heart disease. Vermont law fosters prevention programs. Now is time to close these gaps at the national level."

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