When I heard Ruth Bader Ginsburg had passed away, I was deeply bereaved. But in the following days, I have been gripped by a different type of sadness. As much as I wanted to grieve a woman I had looked up to I have been unable to grieve solely for RBG. While I have certainly been frustrated by the hypocrisy surrounding the next Supreme Court Justice appointment, what I grieve for, what fills me with sadness, is the threat of members of my community having their healthcare taken away as a result of her passing. 

That an 87 year old Supreme Court Justice was the only thing standing between the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, and a President who wants to repeal it for political points with nothing to replace it with is an outrage. I am hearing from older folks who fear trying to find coverage with pre-existing conditions. I hear from young people who rely on their parents’ insurance. While the Affordable Care Act was far from perfect, the fact that there has been no further movement on healthcare in a decade is a moral failure. I know all too well how broken our healthcare system is: My mother's critical arthritis medication comes with a monthly sticker price of over $12,000. That is wholly unacceptable. That it would seem we only have one party, in our two party system, that wants to expand healthcare access is nothing short of barbaric. 

Instead of mourning the loss of an American icon, someone who is widely respected in the fight for gender equality, I fear for my family, for my community, and for my country’s future. I believe healthcare is a right for all of us. While I recognize that as a State Representative much of our healthcare system is in the purview of the federal government, who I hope will take up meaningful healthcare reform, I promise to always work to make healthcare more attainable, affordable, and accessible. 

David Glidden

St. Albans

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