Press Release: Over Two Thousand Vermonters Converge To Say Universal Health Care Means Everybody

Over Two Thousand Vermonters Converge
To Say Universal Health Care Means Everybody
Major statewide rally on May 1st will call for adoption of strongest possible final version of H. 202

Montpelier VT – Statehouse Over two thousand Vermonters marched to the Statehouse steps today in a massive rally supporting Universal Health Care. Organizers of the rally from the Vermonter Workers Center lifted up achievements of the campaign, including the recent passage of H.202 in both the House and the Senate. James Haslam, Director of the Workers Center said, “It’s so inspiring to see the House and Senate pass Healthcare for almost all Vermonters, it’s just as inspiring to see over two thousand Vermonters converge on the Statehouse to say ‘Universal Health Care means everybody.’ We sincerely hope our elected leaders do what’s right and remove the controversial amendment which excludes some Vermonters.”

Last Tuesday (April 26) the Vermont Senate passed (21-9) H. 202, largely as a result of thousands of Vermonters speaking out and demanding that healthcare be treated as a human right and provided as a public good. Unfortunately, the Senate version of the bill was weakened by a last-minute amendment that excludes some of the most vulnerable Vermonters from the new, supposedly universal, health care system. In coalition with ally organizations, the Healthcare Is a Human Right Campaign will be demanding the removal of this harmful amendment which targets undocumented dairy farmworkers. The campaign will continue to fight for healthcare to be a public good for all.

“We see this bill as a major step forward in the fight for our human right to healthcare. We’ve come this far because Vermonters have come together to demand a universal healthcare system that puts people before profits,” said Peg Franzen, the President of the Vermont Workers’ Center. “In our struggle we’ve shown how putting profits above people has created a real human rights crisis. But we have a long way to go shut the door on insurance industry profiteering, we will continue our fight for healthcare as a public good for all Vermonters.”

The Healthcare Is a Human Right Campaign is grounded in the human rights principles of universality, equity, accountability, transparency and participation. The Campaign will push to strengthen the bill based on these principles, with a particular focus on ensuring universality.

The Healthcare Is a Human Right March and Rally on Sunday May 1st will begin at 11am at Montpelier City Hall, and march to the Statehouse for the rally.

A 4 minute video update from the campaign can be viewed at

Healthcare Is a Human Right Campaign leaders are available all across the state for interview or comment.