Press Release - Tea Party Legislator: Healthcare Campaign 'Like A Tidal Wave"

*** FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, APRIL 30 2010 ***
Contact: James Haslam (802)272-0882 james@workerscenter.org

Tea Party Legislator: Healthcare Campaign "Like A Tidal Wave"

Momentum that has built for the May 1st "Healthcare Is A Human Right" rally is felt all across Vermont, including by those who oppose making healthcare a human right for every Vermonter. In a message posted to the Vermont Tea Party's website, a frantic member of the Vermont House of Representatives called for help, saying "I feel like we are in a tidal wave, going for the third count" to describe the overwhelming support that universal healthcare legislation has received from Vermonters throughout the state.

The anonymous legislator sent the message to the relatively small Rutland-based group(1) shortly before the House passed - by a 91-42 margin - Senate bill S. 88, which calls for the implementation of a universal healthcare system in line with the human rights principles of universality, equitability and transparency. "This is the work of the Healthcare Is A Human Right Group (sic) ... to date I have received over two hundred e-mails to support S. 88 as passed from the senate", added the legislator, noting that the Senate has previously passed the bill by an even larger margin of 28 to 2 and that the emails "are signed from citizens all over the state."

Meanwhile, Rutland-area supporters of the campaign are gearing up for Saturday's noon rally with cars, vans and two charter buses transporting rally-goers from the parking lot of Grace Congregational Church to the Statehouse in Montpelier. They will join other Vermonters from all parts of the state in what is expected to be one of the biggest rallies in Vermont's history. An 11 am march will kick off the events, followed by a noon rally at the Statehouse lawn. US Senator Bernie Sanders will be speaking at this family-friendly event, which will also feature music, arts, puppet show and skits.

In addition to celebrating S. 88's passage the rally will also be a show of strength by the thousands of Vermonters who support making healthcare a human right that is available to all residents regardless of income or employment status. "We will be using this rally to show support for universal health care legislation", says Betty Keller, MD, a single-payer advocate and volunteer for the campaign. "We want to let the governor know we don’t want a veto, and to let legislators know we want them to override a veto if there is one."

A Friday message from the Vermont Workers' Center, which organized the rally, referred to the aforementioned legislator's desperate plea to the VT Tea Party and urged the rest of Vermont to "help us in continuing to build the tidal wave."

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(1) Complete text available at the Vermont Tea Party's website: http://www.vermontteaparty.com/Montpelier_G74X.html

For more information about Saturday's rally and the "Healthcare is A Human Right" campaign, please visit www.healthcareisahumanright.org