Follow the People's Team in Montpelier as they work to ensure that our legislators enact legislation that recognizes that Healthcare is a Human Right!
The Vermont Senate had not yet received VT S. 88 as of 8 PM Thursday, but members of the House and Senate were working away trying to finish work in time to adjourn the session by Saturday evening.
Just heard from the People's Team about what's going with S.88. As Peg reported earlier one of the main discrepancy between the two chambers is the section on drug sample disclosures as the pharma industry is working behind the scenes to get the section struck from the bill. The Senate will be voting on the bill tonight at 5pm and Sen. Sears and Sen. Mullin are amongst a group of Senators who are planning on an amendment to take this section.
[Here is text of May 1st Healthcare Is A Human Right Rally speech by Mari Cordes, RN is a leader of the Addison County Healthcare Is A Human Right Campaign. She is part of United Professions of Vermont/AFT who are partners of the campaign.]
[Here is the text of the speech by David Kreindler. David is a long-time VWC leader and a member of the Vermont State Employees Association (VSEA)]
We are winning.
We are winning, but we have a long way to go before we have won. And it is going to get harder and harder.
We have a vision of social justice. Part of that vision is healthcare as a human right: a healthcare system that embodies the human-rights principles of universality, equity, accountability, transparency and participation.
Our political power comes from demonstrating that our campaign is continuing to grow in size and in commitment. It is the continued growth of our numbers, along with repeated demonstrations, that will allow us to achieve our goal of establishing the human right to healthcare in Vermont. This is why the May Day rally is so important.
"First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. And then they attack you and want to burn you. And then they build monuments to you."
A quick report on the House Appropriations Committee. It was not really that dramatic, unlike many of the other committees that we have sat in on. The committee passed S.88 by a vote of 7-3. Reps who voted no were: Helm, Winters, Acinapura. Steve Maier defended the bill, with representative George Till, D-Bolton, there as well and Robin Lunge, legislative council. They did add an amendment, which carried the entire committee, an amendment about funding which I will write more of later. It should be going up to the floor later on this week, perhaps Thursday or Friday. We'll see.
S.88 passed the House Committee on Healthcare today! They will be taking it up today and tomorrow in House Appropriations and we expect it to be voted by the full House of Representatives next week. The Committee decided to add their entire committee bill to S.88, which means that they added a number of their cost-containment other provisions. Still intact is the core part of the Senate version of S.88 which would design implementation plans for a system that truly establishes healthcare for all by 2012. We need to keep up the momentum.
We understand that the there should be a vote on the Senate Floor this week, possibly Wednesday. We have just now received the final mark ups on the bill that passed (see attached and below). Stay tuned for more details as we get them (the Policy Committee will be putting up an analysis at www.workerscenter.org/newS.188.8.131.52 and you cna see our break down of the previously version here: http://www.workerscenter.org/newS.88 ).
If you have not contacted your Senators yet, please do now. You can email them by going to www.workerscenter.org/takeaction
This week that is the question being asked by Vermont's joint legislative healthcare committees. We say Yes! The current version of S.88 calls for implementation in 2012 of a real universal healthcare system (see our breakdown of the bill here: http://www.workerscenter.org/newS.88 ). The new federal health bill will set up healthcare insurance state exchanges in 2014 which could mess this up. But the new bill does establish the right of state's to make their own universal single-payer healthcare system in 2017. But Sen.