Vermont is on the cusp of winning universal, single–payer health care after two years of grassroots organizing by the Vermont Workers’ Center. Come January, the Vermont Workers’ Center’s Healthcare Is a Human Right Campaign will enter the final stage of their fight for a human rights-based health care system. Everything is in place for a progressive policy victory that will change the lives of hundreds of thousands, demonstrate the relevance of human rights movements in the United States, and kick off a nation-wide shift toward universal, single–payer health care, spreading from one state to the next.
Yet this win will not come without a fight. Over the next few months the Vermont Workers’ Center aims to scale up its powerful grassroots organizing that enabled the Healthcare Is a Human Right Campaign to win legislation in May 2010. This law commits the state of Vermont to implement a new health care system based on the human rights principles of universality, equity, accountability, transparency and participation. In just a few weeks, Dr. William Hsiao, who designed Taiwan’s single–payer system, will reveal his three implementation options to the public, and the legislature will vote on these shortly thereafter. Vermont’s new Democratic governor campaigned on a single payer platform — a political stance made possible and popular in large part because of the Workers’ Center’s grassroots campaign. To push this fight over the finish line, the Vermont Workers’ Center and NESRI are asking for national solidarity over the coming months.
Read more about NESRI’s work with the Vermont Workers’ Center.