Universal family care is vital for people in the United States, especially Maine in particular.

With a significantly high elderly population and the struggle to juggle work and child care, the pressure to care for one’s children, parents and grandparents is difficult to manage.

Families shouldn’t have to worry about who is going to take care of their loved ones or how to struggle and manage both.

Many families, like in my case, are forced to quit their jobs in order to provide quality care – but this leaves them economically vulnerable.

Taking care of my elderly parents for about eight years in my home resulted in my leaving work three years ago. I rely on the health insurance marketplace set up by President Obama to have medical and dental insurance.

It is affordable. Without this insurance, I cannot afford to go to the doctor or the dentist for regular routine checkups, much less pay for a major issue if it occurs.

The American people should have affordable access to health care. It is not right to not be able to afford medical and dental insurance while taking care of one’s elderly parents. I chose not to throw them away and place them in a nursing home because I wanted them to have quality care, which, in our current system, is not guaranteed in a nursing home.

The American working class is the backbone of this country, and we want and need representatives and senators with moral character to look out for the people.

We are the ones who physically do the work to get things done. Without us, the upper class has nothing to pass.

Therefore, we must call our representatives and senators to tell them that we need more health care, not less, and must move toward a universal family care system.

Sheila Swanson

Mount Desert