NEWS RELEASE: "Hsiao Report" Confirm Need For Universal Healthcare System

Dr. Hsaio Confirms Vermont Healthcare System Broken and True Change Is Possible--Analysis of Draft Report by Healthcare Is a Human Right Campaign to Follow

Montpelier, VT -- State House -- The Healthcare is a Human Right Campaign welcomes Dr. William Hsaio’s draft report of designs for fixing Vermont’s healthcare system. The grassroots human rights campaign, which was instrumental in passing the law that led to the hiring of Dr. Hsiao’s team, will now use its human rights standards to assess the proposals. Hsaio’s report confirmed that Vermont’s current healthcare system is unsustainable and cannot be remedied with piecemeal changes. The draft report presented by Dr. Hsaio is available for public comment, with the final report due from Dr. Hsaio’s team by February 17th, 2010.

“Dr. Hsaio’s presentation supports what thousands of Vermonters have been telling their elected officials--that real change is necessary and possible. The current healthcare system is unsustainable, and Vermonters are already spending enough money on healthcare to afford a universal system that works for everyone,” said Peg Franzen, President of the Vermont Workers’ Center which launched the Healthcare Is A Human Right Campaign in 2008 to make universal healthcare possible in Vermont.

The Healthcare Is a Human Right Campaign has released “Detailed Human Rights Standards for Healthcare Systems”, which translate the general human-rights principles of Act 128 into a set of specific policy questions, to enable logical and consistent evaluation of the “Hsiao” options and any subsequent legislative proposals. The Healthcare Is a Human Right Campaign will be using the Standards to evaluate the draft report and will provide public comments. The comments will focus on improving compliance with Act 128’s requirement that the design options satisfy the principles of universality, equity, accountability, transparency, participation and healthcare as a public good.

Dr. Hsiao acknowledges in his report that while most Vermonters will greatly benefit from the fundamental reforms needed, some groups that profit from the current broken system will actively oppose any reform legislation.

“It’s crucial that Vermonters continue to tell their elected officials that we need a healthcare system that meets our needs, not the needs of the insurance industry,” said Franzen.. “We need to keep up our grassroots organizing and bringing forward the voices of Vermonters. That’s what has gotten us this far. We know Vermont can lead the way.”

The “Detailed Human Rights Standards for Healthcare Systems” are available at the Vermont Workers’ Center website at www.workerscenter.org/assessment.

For more background on the campaign, please contact James Haslam or Peg Franzen, or go to www.workerscenter.org/healthcare.

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