On June 28, the Health Care Reform Commission will choose the bidder it will recommend to be chosen to design three options for Vermont healthcare systems. That recommendation will go to the Joint Fiscal Committee, which will decide on June 29 which architect to hire.
Act 128 (S.88) calls on the Senate President Pro Tempore and the House Speaker each to appoint one non-voting member to the Joint Legislative Health Care Commission, which is responsible for recommending the consultant(s) who would design the healthcare systems called for in Act 128.
It also contains language that specifically disallows anyone from holding one of those two seats who might have a conflict due to a financial or other interest in a healthcare provider or insurer.
The office of Gov. Jim Douglas announced that he will let S.88 become law without his signature. He expressed disapproval of the designs mandate and the prescription drug samples disclosure provision added by the House. However, he decided to let the bill become law because it include the "Blueprint For Health" plans that he has supported. This is another big step forward for our campaign! Read the press release.
For the past two years, most of the energy of the Vermont Workers' Center has been dedicated to the Healthcare Is a Human Right Campaign. Together with thousands of Vermonters, we have talked with our neighbors, shared our stories, educated our legislators, marched, rallied and sung, and we have done what few thought possible — moved Vermont to make a commitment to fundamental reform of our healthcare system, to reform that recognizes and respects the human right to health of each and every Vermonter.
The Vermont Senate had not yet received VT S. 88 as of 8 PM Thursday, but members of the House and Senate were working away trying to finish work in time to adjourn the session by Saturday evening.
Just heard from the People's Team about what's going with S.88. As Peg reported earlier one of the main discrepancy between the two chambers is the section on drug sample disclosures as the pharma industry is working behind the scenes to get the section struck from the bill. The Senate will be voting on the bill tonight at 5pm and Sen. Sears and Sen. Mullin are amongst a group of Senators who are planning on an amendment to take this section.
[Here is text of May 1st Healthcare Is A Human Right Rally speech by Mari Cordes, RN is a leader of the Addison County Healthcare Is A Human Right Campaign. She is part of United Professions of Vermont/AFT who are partners of the campaign.]
[Here is the text of the speech by David Kreindler. David is a long-time VWC leader and a member of the Vermont State Employees Association (VSEA)]
We are winning.
We are winning, but we have a long way to go before we have won. And it is going to get harder and harder.
We have a vision of social justice. Part of that vision is healthcare as a human right: a healthcare system that embodies the human-rights principles of universality, equity, accountability, transparency and participation.