Vermont Public Radio report on Healthcare is A Human Right Campaign

VPR: "Forums push single-payer health plan" Thursday, 10/01/09

LISTEN AT: http://www.vpr.net/news_detail/85986/

(Host) A Burlington group that advocates for workers is holding a series of forums around the state to persuade lawmakers that they should adopt a single-payer health care plan.

VPR's Ross Sneyd has more.

(Sneyd) The Vermont Workers' Center is already disappointed in the health care debate in Washington.
James Haslam is director of the center.

(Haslam) "We don't think that any reform - we didn't think this in the first place and it's just played out to be true - that what's going to happen on a federal level is going to have much of an impact at all on us here in Vermont."

(Sneyd) Haslam's group thinks the only way to make health care universally available is to get rid of private, for-profit insurance companies.

A year-and-a-half ago, the Workers' Center launched its "Health Care is a Human Right" campaign. This summer and fall, the campaign has been holding forums and lobbying legislators to get behind two bills that would make Vermont the first state in the country to adopt a single-payer plan.

(Haslam) "We demand fundamental change on health care. ... We don't think the federal reform is going to have much impact on fixing the crisis in Vermont and ... we think Vermont can lead the way and has to lead the way to have universal care for everyone."

(Sneyd) Haslam says the Workers' Center believes history has proven that incremental changes to health care have neither driven down costs, nor extended coverage.

That's why his group is advocating a much more radical change.
For VPR News, I'm Ross Sneyd.

(Host Outro) Two more "Health Care is a Human Right" forums are scheduled in the next week. A meeting will be held in the Old North End of Burlington tonight (Thursday). And next week, a rally will be held at the Rutland library.
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