To the editor:

As we struggle through the COVID-19 pandemic, we see ever more clearly the urgency of universal health care in our country. Joe Kennedy has seen it all along. He has proven his leadership on this issue over his four terms representing the 4th District in the House of Representatives. Joe worked to protect coverage of pre-existing conditions and to advance mental health care parity. Also, Joe recently unveiled a resolution calling on Congress to pursue universal behavioral health care and address the inequities of the current system.

As a young prosecutor and legal aid volunteer, Joe saw the connections between criminal justice issues, mental and physical health issues, opioid addiction issues and the results of economic disadvantage affecting many communities, hitting minority and immigrant populations especially hard.

The COVID-19 pandemic has pressed our health care system nearly to the breaking point. Joe has the experience, knowledge and determination to address this challenge in the U.S. Senate. We need him there now.

Ann Fisher Cook

Patti Robinson

Salem

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