Letter to the editor: Why sit on money that could help people?

Letters to the editor are brief reader responses to stories and opinion pieces published by VTDigger. Letters give voice to community members and do not represent VTDigger’s views. To submit a letter, complete this form.

We learned from this VTDigger article that the consortium of hospitals called the Green Mountain Care Board is not able to make a decision on the allotment of funds from 2017 toward the care of juveniles in the state of Vermont. 

This is mentioned as a slow-moving catastrophe. Speaking from my own personal experience, I know this to be true.

It’s been three years since my son died by his own hand, and in his tenure as a young adult, he interfaced with that same system, which simply did not know what to do with him. In spite of having led his high school cross-country team to victory for several years, in spite of having started his own contracting business, he could not prevail over his own psychological issues. 

While there are many great people within the state who put their time and effort into helping people like my son, still, he spent a year in prison, and weeks awaiting treatment in the emergency department. While it certainly is not the job of the state to take responsibility for individuals’ mental health, children daily die because there is no comprehensive statewide system to help them develop some level of emotional security. In fact, we like to treat them like criminals. 

So far, we are losing a resource beyond measure, beyond regaining. And elsewhere in the article it states that part of the reason is that apparently most insurance companies don’t think it’s profitable. It reminds me of the way we treat the environment; let’s just keep making money! Nonetheless, why are we sitting on money that we already have that could go toward treatment of individuals who are sitting in emergency rooms right now?

The article further states, “The decision on whether to loosen restrictions on the use of $18 million held by the UVM Health Network has raised questions about the board’s ability to direct private health care investment.” It suggests that we could combine the children’s hospital with the treatment of children with psychological disorders in order to get this issue off the back burner when it obviously should be on the front burner.

I wholeheartedly agree, I don’t want to see any more kids become traumatized by a system that seems not to be able to address this dire constant threat to the future of Vermont.

Tom Howard 


Read the story on VTDigger here: Letter to the editor: Why sit on money that could help people?.

As Reported by VTDigger