Human Rights Hearing: “Healthcare is a Human Right”

Where: Burlington City Hall, Contois Auditorium (149 Church St., Burlington)
When: Thursday Oct 23 at 7:00 p.m. refreshments, 7:30 p.m. hearing

 – For months volunteers for the Vermont Workers’ Center have been surveying Vermonters from all across the state, including many in the Burlington area. The results have been clear: Vermonters believe that healthcare should be a human right.

The state, however, has come up short on this issue. More than 11 percent of all Vermonters are without health insurance, including more than 11,000 children. Thousands more are woefully under-insured, and cannot afford their costly premiums and co-pays, which are only rising as the cost of healthcare soars.

The Vermont Workers’ Center is currently undertaking its “Healthcare is a Human Right” campaign to help end this injustice. The goal of the campaign is to spread awareness and build a movement that can help reform the state’s system so it will guarantee care to all Vermonters, regardless of income. On Thursday Oct. 23, this discussion is coming
to Burlington at Burlington City Hall, Contois Auditorim. The event begins at 7:00 p.m. (refreshments will be available).

Community faith leaders and healthcare professionals and other community leaders will serve on a Community Listening Panel to hear testimony from residents. Speakers will address the failure of the state’s healthcare system, the plight of those who try to navigate through it, and effective ways to bring about change. The event will give members of the Burlington community a chance to share stories highlighting how our flawed system has caused them suffering and

“In speaking to Vermonters, we have found that many have suffered greatly, both personally and physically, when they try to navigate through a a healthcare system that leaves so many behind,” said James Haslam, the director of the Vermont Workers’ Center, which is located at 294 North Winooski Avenue in Burlington. “This event will give members of the Burlington community a chance to make some of these stories heard.”

The event will include the following listening panel:

Mayor Bob Kiss, City of Burlington
Rabbi Joshua Chasan, Ohavi Zedek Synagogue
Jennifer Henry, RN Nurses Union President, Fletcher Allen Health Care
Rebecca Haslam, President, Burlington Education Association
Rev. Sarah Flynn, ALL Souls Ministry in Vermont
Roddy Cleary, former minister Unitarian Universalist Church in Burlington
Al Robinson, Imani Health Institute
Ann Goering, MD, Winooski Family Health
Mohamed Abdi, Somali Bantu Association
Hal Colston, Neighbor Keepers
Denise Foote, Barnes Elementary School PTO

Similar “Human Rights Forums” will be held all across the state, including St. Albans (Nov. 13), Lyndon (Nov. 18), Barre (Jan. 29), Rutland (Feb. 12) and Bennington (Feb. 19) as this effort continues to fight for a just healthcare system that Vermonters’ health over profit.

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