Montpelier, VT — Statehouse — Vermonters from all over the state turned out for a major public hearing on Vermont’s new universal healthcare bill, H.202. The Vermont Senate Health & Welfare Committee held the hearing on the bill in the main chamber of the Statehouse one week after H.202 passed in the Vermont House of Representatives by a 92 – 49 vote. Over fifty Vermonters testified overwhelmingly in support of the bill and demanded bold action to begin treating healthcare as a human right, provided as a public good.
Peg Franzen, President of the Vermont Workers’ Center, testified at the event saying:
“As we go down this road, we must be guided by the plight of Vermonters who pay for the failures of this market-based system with their health – their physical and financial health. Human rights principles offer that guidance, and they are included in this bill as the foundation of our new healthcare system. Human rights principles will enable us to ensure that each step we take towards a new system is a step in the right direction, the direction of a universal, equitable healthcare system that works for all of us.”
The Healthcare Is a Human Right campaign still seeks to strengthen the bill in the Senate, based on the human rights principles of universality, equity, accountability, transparency and participation.
In 2008, the Vermont Workers’ Center launched the Healthcare Is a Human Right Campaign to change what is politically possible in healthcare reform. The Campaign has done this by uniting Vermonters across the state who struggle to get the healthcare they need, and who believe healthcare is a public good that belongs to all.
Pictured above, members of the Campaign (in red Healthcare Is a Human Right T-Shirts) stood up to represent the sixty people that will die this year in Vermont due to the lack of health insurance.
Download Peg Franzen’s testimony below.