March 7th Testimony Tips and Guidelines
Testimonies should be 2 minutes each. Please type up your testimony in advance (and send it to us if you can). We’d be happy to help with any drafts, but also want to compile all the testimonies in case not everyone has a chance to speak.
1. Introduce yourself by saying “My name is [name], I’m from [town] and I am a member of a Healthcare is a Human Right Campaign.”
-I’m here to represent myself, but also my brother my sister my family, all the people out there that have gone through what I’ve gone through (or something along those lines).
2. Frame why you are here and that this is bigger than just you. Some talking points you might make:
* We’re glad you’re having this hearing. We really want you to remember our faces and our stories when you are making these decisions.
* It’s probably easy to get lost in the details in the bill. Don’t forget that this is about people and our communities and having a system that’s there for every single one of us.
* We recognize you’ve heard many stories before. Tonight you’re hearing a lot of stories again. We’re sharing over and over again because this human rights crisis continues to happen as we figure out how to fix this system. We want you to remember our stories and our faces. We need to move forward with fixing this crisis as fast as possible without getting hung up on obstacles.
* I have good insurance but I want a healthcare system that eliminates employer-based healthcare so that everyone can get the care they need.
Key points to get across in an interview or testimony
- Where this sheet says” Vermonters” or “we” or “many people,” try to refer to yourself (“I”, “my family,” “people I know”) and use examples where possible.
- What’s wrong with healthcare in Vermont?
- Our healthcare system is broken, and this is a human rights emergency. Many Vermonters are suffering, even dying, because they cannot get the care they need.
- Many of us simply can’t pay for healthcare. If we don’t get care in time, our health gets worse, and we end up in the emergency room.
- Families are struggling with expensive bills from insurance companies, high deductibles and co-pays, and are piling on debts, or even going bankrupt.
- What are we fighting for? We’re fighting for the human right to healthcare in Vermont.
- Every human being has the right to get the healthcare they need, when they need it. This must be regardless of payment or any other factor. We want this right to be protected and realized in Vermont.
- What kind of healthcare system do we want?
We want a universal healthcare system that treats healthcare as a public good, similar to the fire department, or to education. Such a system would be accountable to us, the people.
- There is no role for private insurance companies as middlemen, because healthcare is not a commodity that can be sold in the marketplace.
- We want a healthcare system that everyone can access, on an equal basis, and to which we all contribute equitably, according to our abilities.
- What do we want our legislators to do?
We want our legislators to pass a bill this session that establishes a universal, equitable healthcare system at the earliest possible date.
- This bill should not merely set up an insurance exchange based on the federal reform law. The federal reform does not meet human rights standards.
- Access to care for Vermonters must not be delayed because of federal decisions.
- Our legislators should pass a bill that makes clear that healthcare in Vermont will be financed equitably and publicly through our taxes.