Vermont AFL-CIO Calls Rally for Single Payer Healthcare

Congratulations to the Vermont AFL-CIO for calling this demonstration in Burlington in support of single payer healthcare on Tuesday, March 17th.

We urge all who can to join them. See notice below.

After this notice was issued, the rally time was moved up to 11:00 am.

Unions were also very prominent in a demonstration in Dearborn, Michigan, at a similar White House sponsored health care event on Thursday, March 12th. See the story here:

Now is the time to begin thinking about a labor-led ‘Solidarity Day’ rally in Washington, DC, for Single Payer healthcare.

Rally: Single-Payer/Improved Medicare for All at Regional Forum on Health Reform Time: Tuesday the 17th at Noon Where: Davis Center, UVM

The Obama Administration has asked governors to host regional forums on health reform. The forum in Vermont is on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17th at the Davis Center, UVM, hosted by Governor Douglas and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick.

This should be the beginning of a serious dialogue that recognizes that health care is a human right. Fundamental health reform - which enjoys solid majority support from the public - has become even more urgently needed with the severe economic recession. But we’re told by a Douglas spokesperson, “the session may have a limited guest list.” The President has promised an open, transparent process, with all proposals considered – yet there’s no information about how to participate!

The Labor Campaign for Single Payer is joining with the Health Care is a Human Right campaign, Vermont Health Care for All and others to organize a peaceful protest in front of the summit meeting at noon - hopefully in support of single-payer/improved Medicare for All spokespersons inside the meeting. If there ever was a day to drop what you are doing and come, this is it.

We need to speak up now to ensure that our voice is heard. The stakes are too high to allow special interests to hijack a discussion whose outcome affects Vermonters lives and livelihoods. We call on Governor Douglas to give real reform the fair and open hearing that it deserves. We are concerned that no single-payer/improved Medicare for All, voices would be present inside the meeting.

Millions of people are losing their employer-sponsored health insurance, joining the 46 million who already lack coverage. Millions more, including those with insurance, are finding it harder to pay their co-pays and deductibles and are scrimping on their medications and doctor visits. Many go without care, risking their health and often their very lives.

If anyone should be excluded from this summit it should be the representatives of the health insurance industry. These are the people who caused the crisis in the first place. They will move heaven and earth to continue to deny people the healthcare justice that citizens of all other industrialized countries enjoy. But according to Susan Besio, of the Douglas administration, there are similarities between the president’s plans and the governor’s approach, starting with that both see a role for insurance companies in the health care industry.

The private, for-profit health insurance companies add cost but no value to the health care system. See Health Insurance CEOs Pocket Average $14.2 Million

Fix Healthcare, End Vermont’s Budget Crisis: National legislation like HR 676, or state legislation like H100, would solve Vermont’s budget problems. The State would save over $80 million per year on employee health care costs if HR 676 is adopted. Over three years, we would save $240 million – equal to the estimated budget deficit from FY09 to FY11. This doesn’t even include savings for the cost of health care for retirees or the medical portion of Workers Compensation. See resolution adopted by the Vermont AFL-CIO Convention for HR 676 - Single Payer Universal Health Care.

As long as we rely on private health insurers, the human right to healthcare will be deemed unaffordable.

See Times Argus article: Douglas in middle on health care