For Immediate Release

Healthcare Supporters to Rally Inside Vermont Statehouse and Announce Call from National Advocacy and Faith Groups for Moving Forward with Universal Healthcare

Montpelier - When: Thursday, January 8, 2015, beginning at 10am

Where:  Vermont Statehouse; pre-rally at Christ Episcopal Church, 64 State Street in Montpelier

Who: Healthcare Is a Human Right Campaign, Vermont Workers’ Center, Vermont Human Rights Council

What:

  • Huge rally inside Vermont Statehouse.
  • Public speakout on the state’s human rights crisis.
  • Announcement of national statement of support signed by advocacy groups from across the country. The statement will call on the Vermont governor and legislature to move forward with universal, publicly financed healthcare, as set out under state law Act 48. The statement and list of signatories will be released to press tomorrow.
  • Reading of statement by national and state faith leaders (to be released tomorrow).
  • Delivery of a statement and demand to legislators, asking them to take up and hold a public hearing on the governor’s financing proposal.

Background:

In 2011 Vermont became the first state in the country to pass a law, Act 48, for universal, publicly financed healthcare. This healthcare system, called Green Mountain Care, was to provide healthcare as a public good for all Vermonters by 2017.  This breakthrough followed years of community pressure from a growing people’s movement of many thousand Vermonters, brought together by the Healthcare Is a Human Right Campaign, led by the Vermont Workers’ Center.

Act 48 required the governor to develop a plan for public, equitable healthcare financing and submit this to the legislature for decision. However, in late December 2014 Governor Shumlin announced that he would no longer go forward with universal healthcare. He then published a report on financing that shows the economic, financial and health benefits universal healthcare would bring for Vermont families, yet recommended not to proceed with any of the options he outlined. The Healthcare Is a Human Right Campaign is now demanding that the legislature take up and hold a public hearing on the governor’s proposals, as required by Act 48.

December 17 Statement on the governor’s decision:

http://www.workerscenter.org/news/release-vermont-workers-center-responds-release-gmc-financing-report

December 20 Op-Ed by the director of the Vermont Workers’ Center:

http://www.rutlandherald.com/article/20141220/OPINION04/712209920/1018/OPINION

 
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Created in 1998, the Vermont Workers’ Center is a statewide grassroots network of thousands of individuals and families who are committed to standing for justice. We have hundreds of individual members around the state and also work with over a dozen partner organizations (unions, churches, community groups, etc).

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