People's Team

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!

A Conversation on the Federal Legislation

This morning after listening to the news, I asked David to help me understand more about the federal healthcare bill that was just passed last night. We wanted to share our conversation. It's just a start to analyzing what this bill will actually do, but may be helpful. One thing we know for sure is we still have a long way to go and VT needs to lead the way. Let's keep organizing!

Kate Elizabeth Kanelstein
David, what's your take on the federal legislation?

David Kreindler

"Senate Health and Welfare Votes Out a Health Care Bill"

With unanimous support from the 5 Democratic and 1 Republican Senators, the Senate Health and Welfare Committee voted Friday to recommend the passage of a "strike-all" version of S.88. The text showing what they replaced S.88 with can be found in Tuesday's Senate calendar, see pages 48 - 60, here:

http://www.leg.state.vt.us/docs/2010/calendar/SC100316.pdf#page=1

The bill is likely to go to Senate Appropriations next, since it appropriates $300,000. This money is for the board charged with designing three healthcare systems and the consultant/expert to be hired to advise the board.

March 11 Senate health and Welfare Happenings

Long day in the committee room. Senator Kevin Mullin, R-Rutland, read a letter that I believe came from a constituent of his. This person was writing about how ridiculous it is to keep jumping back-and-forth from Catamount and Vhap, each time his income rose or fell. The constituent complained how each time that this happened, he had to get new insurance cards, and was paying different premiums, deductibles, and co-pays with each one.

"S.88 Now Recognizes Healthcare as a Human Right"

We now have a bill in the Vermont legislature that explicitly recognizes healthcare as a human right. The Senate Health and Welfare Committee today released this 'strike-all" version of S.88 (meaning that the entiretly of the text in S.88 as introduced has been striken and replaced by what appears below). As legislative council and Chair Doug Racine explained, this bill authorizes a commission to design 3 single-payer health care systems for the Vermont legislature to use in building a new health care system next legislative session.

Let's Keep It Up!

Just as Town Meeting Week is wrapping up, we got word that the Senate Health Committee may bring forward the bill which currently stands the best chance to make healthcare a public good next Tuesday. Politicians will only lead as far as we push them, though, so to make sure that they do this, we need to continue to add to the thousands of voices who have demanded that we make real change happen.

Please tell everyone you know to go to www.workerscenter.org/takeaction and send an email to the Senate Health and Welfare Committee ASAP.

"Senate Health & Welfare Reform Bill Outline Presented"

On February 16, the Senate Health & Welfare Committee presented the following outline of proposed or potential pieces of a reform bill this year. Notably, when someone asked about universal coverage, noting the outline seems not to address this major point, the committee replied that the issue of universal coverage was being dealt with in the House Healthcare Committee. Its not clear how meaningful reform will be made without uniting these issues.

"Big Breakthrough in Senate Health & Welfare" People's Team Blog 2/11/2010

The Health Care is a Human Right campaign gained a huge victory today: Doug Racine, the Chair of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee, announced that he has asked for a bill to be drafted that would 'radically' change the way we fund and pay for health care in Vermont, in a way that will probably look like single payer and would be an acceleration of the time line laid out in S.88. This bill would be a committee bill that the committee would work on getting ready for passage this year.

Comments from the "People's Team"

Below are some direct comments from our People's Team members:

Peg Franzen:

"The meetings are dominated by Administration staff and paid lobbyists. There is little or no time reserved for real testimony from real people and people who can lead the way for systemic change.

That is why our campaign is so important. We must step up our efforts to connect with our legislators. The legislators will not get the political will or realize it is politically possible unless they hear from us!"

Cassandra Edson:

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