Human Rights Principle of Equity Is Key to Planning Vermont’s New Health Care System

After the universal health care breakthrough in Vermont, the long process of transitioning to the new system has begun. As the governing board of the new system commenced its work, the Vermont Workers’ Center’s Healthcare Is a Human Right Campaign reminded board members of their commitment to the principles in the universal health care law –universality, equity, transparency, accountability and participation.

Throughout December and January, the Healthcare Is a Human Right Campaign is mobilizing people to take part in public hearings about the financing plan for the universal system. Vermont’s health care law mandates that the system be financed equitably. According to talking points prepared by the Healthcare Is a Human Right Campaign, this means that richer people — and more profitable companies — should pay proportionally more into the health care system than poorer people. The most equitable and sustainable way of financing health care is through a general tax on income, profits and wealth, with no insurance premiums, deductibles or co-pays. In hearings across the state, activists in red Healthcare Is a Human Right T-Shirts will continue to make their voices heard in support of this basic principle.

In the meantime, the Healthcare Is a Human Right Campaign is preparing detailed proposals for an equitable financing mechanism for the new system. While the proposals are being developed, campaign leaders have addressed questions about health care financing principles on the public TV talk show Live at Five.