Burlington, VT — As people across the United States and world commemorate International Human Rights Day today, the Healthcare Is a Human Right Campaign is releasing a financing plan for Vermont’s new universal healthcare system ahead of the Governor’s presentation of financing options in January. The detailed proposal puts forward a revenue plan that will ensure healthcare is paid for equitably, which is required by Act 48, Vermont’s universal healthcare law.
"We are proposing a financing plan for healthcare that meets the principles of universality and equity mandated by Act 48, ” said Peg Franzen, of the Vermont Workers’ Center, which coordinates the Healthcare Is a Human Right Campaign. “We urge the Governor to make these human rights principles the foundation of his financing proposals.”
Act 48 provides a roadmap to Green Mountain Care, a universal healthcare system that will follow the private insurance exchange once Vermont receives federal permission to opt out of the exchange. Act 48 requires the Administration to present two financing plans consistent with the principle of equity to the legislature by January 15, 2013.
The Healthcare Is a Human Right Campaign proposes a financing plan that would have individuals and businesses contribute based on their ability to pay, and that would ensure comprehensive healthcare as a public good for all. Access to care would be free at the point of service. The plan, which focuses on revenue sources rather than cost estimates, would eliminate premiums, deductibles and co-pays and replace these with public financing through progressive taxation.
“Because our income taxes are based on ability to pay, they are the most equitable way to finance a healthcare system,” said Vermont Workers’ Center Director James Haslam. “It means wealthier people and companies pay proportionally more than those with less money.” The Campaign’s financing plan includes progressive taxes on earned and unearned income and on wealth.
The plan also proposes employers pay a progressive payroll tax to ensure that businesses continue contributing to the healthcare system. In the longer term, the proposal encourages moving businesses’ contributions to the healthcare system from payroll tax to corporate income tax.
Download the proposal, which is based on extensive research and consultation, here.
Just as it played a key role in passing Act 48, the Healthcare Is a Human Right Campaign and its members across Vermont demand that elected officials ensure equitable financing of Green Mountain Care.
Darya Marchenkova, Communications Coordinator. Vermont Workers' Center
darya@ workerscenter.org, (802) 557-0935