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Posts tagged ‘government’

Context and Perspective

August 4, 2012

reptomstevens

One of the more interesting aspects of serving, be it in the legislature or on local governmental boards, is the need to rely on the context of a discussion, point of view or an argument, as well as the perspective of the person presenting it. Too often political conversation, or discussions about what should be done, don’t progress much beyond our initial biases because we, as advocates for our position, don’t see a benefit in giving ground or acknowledging there may be a common ground based on debate and compromise.

Take, for instance, our current discussion about health care or, more precisely, the cost of providing health care. Over the past 12 years, the amount of money we spend on personal health care has grown over 200%, and this increase is represented in our health insurance premiums, if we have employer-sponsored health care benefits or if we need to pay premiums for our state-sponsored health care. There are several arguments that are at play and unsustainable increases in cost is merely the latest and most visceral: how can we afford to keep our family covered if our costs go up X% every year and my salary doesn’t grow? Health care costs are not the only payment for a commodity that have risen astronomically–home heating with oil and propane have risen nearly 300% since 2000, as has gasoline. College tuitions have, at the least, doubled. Salaries for most Vermonters have remained static during the same time. Read more