Statement released on Green Mountain care Board

“Healthcare System Transition Will Follow Human Rights Principles”

First Day of Work for Green Mountain Care Board

MONTPELIER, VT - The Healthcare Is a Human Right Campaign has released a statement (see: www.workerscenter.org/gmcboardstatement), signed by campaign leaders from every corner of the state, reminding Vermonters of the purpose and principles guiding the Green Mountain Care board, which begins its work today to transition Vermont toward a unified, universal healthcare system intended to provide healthcare as a public good.

The board’s work must accord with the human rights principles written into statute by Act 48, the legislation that established the board and laid out a road map for healthcare reform in Vermont. These principles include universality, equity, accountability, transparency and participation. In collaboration with the administration and the legislature, the board must develop a healthcare system that “provide[s], as a public good, comprehensive, affordable, high-quality, publicly financed health care coverage for all Vermont residents in a seamless and equitable manner regardless of income, assets, health status, or availability of other health coverage.”

The current system’s lack of accountability is dramatically exposed by the proposed sale of Fletcher Allen’s regional dialysis units to a for-profit, multi-national corporation. “Our healthcare system must serve the public good not corporate profit,” said Peg Franzen, president of the Vermont Worker’ Center. The Department of Banking, Insurance, Securities and Health Care Administration (BISHCA) is currently responsible for reviewing and granting approval for such sales. The Healthcare Is a Human Right Campaign is calling on the administration to demonstrate its commitment to the vision embodied in Act 48 by having BISHCA apply the same standards that the Green Mountain Care board would have to apply, when it takes over this role in July 2012.

“A grassroots movement of ordinary Vermonters put human rights principles at the core of Act 48,” Franzen said, “and this movement of ordinary Vermonters will hold the board, the administration and the legislature accountable for keeping the promise expressed in this law.”

Background: The Healthcare Is a Human Rights campaign, started in 2008, is a grassroots campaign coordinated by the Vermont Workers’ Center. This campaign was started to change what was politically possible on healthcare reform in the state and has engaged tens of thousands of Vermonters is this effort to make healthcare be treated as a public good for all. More information is available at www.healthcareisahumanright.org

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