S.88 gets out of House Appropriations Committee by 7-3

A quick report on the House Appropriations Committee. It was not really that dramatic, unlike many of the other committees that we have sat in on. The committee passed S.88 by a vote of 7-3. Reps who voted no were: Helm, Winters, Acinapura. Steve Maier defended the bill, with representative George Till, D-Bolton, there as well and Robin Lunge, legislative council. They did add an amendment, which carried the entire committee, an amendment about funding which I will write more of later. It should be going up to the floor later on this week, perhaps Thursday or Friday. We'll see.

S.88 passes 9-2 in House Healthcare Committee

S.88 passed the House Committee on Healthcare today! They will be taking it up today and tomorrow in House Appropriations and we expect it to be voted by the full House of Representatives next week. The Committee decided to add their entire committee bill to S.88, which means that they added a number of their cost-containment other provisions. Still intact is the core part of the Senate version of S.88 which would design implementation plans for a system that truly establishes healthcare for all by 2012. We need to keep up the momentum.

S.88 Amended and Passed out of Senate Appropriations Committee

We understand that the there should be a vote on the Senate Floor this week, possibly Wednesday. We have just now received the final mark ups on the bill that passed (see attached and below). Stay tuned for more details as we get them (the Policy Committee will be putting up an analysis at and you cna see our break down of the previously version here: ).

If you have not contacted your Senators yet, please do now. You can email them by going to

"Road to Detroit" kicks off with two great musical events

At the end of March, we kicked off the "Road to Detroit" with two great musical events at the Workers' Center. On Sunday, March 21, Paul Baker Hernandez, a Carthusian hermit-turned-protest singer from Managua, Nicaragua, played movement music from all over the world, including several examples of the beautiful, passionate music of Víctor Jara, Chilean activist and musician tortured and murdered in the 1973 Kissinger/Pinochet coup.

Should VT Pursue Single-Payer based on Federal Reform?

This week that is the question being asked by Vermont's joint legislative healthcare committees. We say Yes! The current version of S.88 calls for implementation in 2012 of a real universal healthcare system (see our breakdown of the bill here: ). The new federal health bill will set up healthcare insurance state exchanges in 2014 which could mess this up. But the new bill does establish the right of state's to make their own universal single-payer healthcare system in 2017. But Sen.

Welcome to the "Road to Detroit" blog

Welcome to the Vermont Workers' Center's "Road to Detroit" blog as we prepare for (and attend) the US Social Forum in Detroit in June. The US Social Forum, which is expected to draw upwards of 20,000 folks from social movements throughout the country and internationally, is the next important step in our struggle to build a powerful multi-racial, multisectoral, inter-generational, diverse, inclusive, internationalist movement that transforms this country, and changes history.

A Conversation on the Federal Legislation

This morning after listening to the news, I asked David to help me understand more about the federal healthcare bill that was just passed last night. We wanted to share our conversation. It's just a start to analyzing what this bill will actually do, but may be helpful. One thing we know for sure is we still have a long way to go and VT needs to lead the way. Let's keep organizing!

Kate Elizabeth Kanelstein
David, what's your take on the federal legislation?

David Kreindler

"Senate Health and Welfare Votes Out a Health Care Bill"

With unanimous support from the 5 Democratic and 1 Republican Senators, the Senate Health and Welfare Committee voted Friday to recommend the passage of a "strike-all" version of S.88. The text showing what they replaced S.88 with can be found in Tuesday's Senate calendar, see pages 48 - 60, here:

The bill is likely to go to Senate Appropriations next, since it appropriates $300,000. This money is for the board charged with designing three healthcare systems and the consultant/expert to be hired to advise the board.

March 11 Senate health and Welfare Happenings

Long day in the committee room. Senator Kevin Mullin, R-Rutland, read a letter that I believe came from a constituent of his. This person was writing about how ridiculous it is to keep jumping back-and-forth from Catamount and Vhap, each time his income rose or fell. The constituent complained how each time that this happened, he had to get new insurance cards, and was paying different premiums, deductibles, and co-pays with each one.