HUMAN RIGHTS DAY 2009 Press Conference With FAHC Nurses and Sen. Racine Release Healthcare Human Rights Report

* * * NEWS RELEASE * * *
12-10 photo_0.JPG
Nurses, Sen. Racine and other Vermonters Say Vermont Must lead Way to Realize Right to Healthcare For All

BURLINGTON - This Human Rights Day press conference will release a report on how Vermont can lead the way in this country to realize the human right to healthcare. The Vermont Workers’ Center has convened forums with many hundreds of Vermonters and their legislators affirming the importance of establishing a universal, equitable and accountable healthcare system. Senator Doug Racine will join nurses and leaders of the Healthcare Is A Human Right Campaign to announce that the time has come for the State of Vermont to take a lead in healthcare reform, recognizing the shortcomings of current federal efforts.

Senator Racine, who chairs the Vermont Senate Health & Welfare Committee, said: “Vermonters recognize that healthcare is a basic human right and a public good that belongs to everyone. We have the opportunity to take a lead in Vermont. I believe we can have a high quality healthcare system and essentially extend Medicare to everyone. It is unacceptable that on this Human Rights Day we still have too many Vermonters who cannot afford the healthcare they need or who live in fear of getting sick and losing their homes, and that because we leave health care decisions to the market, too many of our healthcare dollars are not going to pay for care. There is work to do to make this work, but it is work that needs to be done now."

In 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the United Nations, and signed by the United States, as a recognition of states’ responsibility to respect, protect and fulfill the equal and inalienable rights of all humans. Article 25 of the Declaration states “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care."

"As nurses we see the effects of our broken healthcare system every single day. How many more stories of pain and suffering must be told before real change occurs? The money and power of the big corporations that is creating a storm of distraction in Washington is a distant rumbling in Vermont – what we hear – loud and clear are the voices of our citizens. We need a Medicare-for-all style system in Vermont. It is possible and we are working to make it happen for Vermont. For a small state, Vermont has often been a leader. We have the will, we have the courage, we have the strength and now we must work together to make it happen," said Jennifer Henry, RN, the president of the Fletcher Allen nurses union which represents over 1,700 nurses and health professionals.

Vermont nurses and health providers to sign onto an open letter calling for Vermont to lead the way in realizing the basic right to healthcare. Letter can be signed online at:

In 2008, the Vermont Workers' Center launched the Healthcare Is A Human Right Campaign and on May 1, 2009 organized a "Healthcare Is A Human Right" Rally at the Statehouse which drew over twelve hundred participants and was the largest weekday rally in the state's capitol history. Over the past few months the campaign has organized a series of People’s Forums on Healthcare across the state with over 70 state legislators and more than 800 people participating to date. On January 6, the first working day of the 2010 legislative session, the Vermont Workers’ Center will deliver thousands of signed postcards (sign online here: ) demanding health care as a human right. At the most recent Chittenden County People's Forum in Colchester, Senator Racine announced that joint hearings on single payer bills H.100 and S.88 will begin on January 12.

Healthcare Is A Human Right Campaign:

Sen. Racine Announces Hearings on S.88/H.100:

Summary of bills S.88/H.100:

Rutland Herald Editorial endorses HCHR Campaign:

Musicians For Healthcare launch benefit CD in Vermont for HCHR:


PDF icon 2009 Human Rights Report.pdf18.38 KB