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Vermont's Health Care Is A Human Right responds to Shumlin's betrayal on universal health care

Vermont Worker's Center:

“The Healthcare Is a Human Right (HCHR) Campaign expresses its deep disappointment in the failure of Governor Shumlin to act on the will of the people of Vermont to ensure universal, publicly financed healthcare in our state. This inaction is a slap in the face of many thousands of Vermont residents who suffer from poor health and financial hardship in the private insurance market that sells healthcare as a commodity to those who can afford it. The HCHR Campaign reminds the Governor that healthcare is a human right, and that our government has an obligation to ensure that right. Our government also has a responsibility to enact state law, and Act 48, passed in 2011, clearly requires Vermont to take actions to provide healthcare as a public good to all residents by 2017.

We all currently pay for our hodgepodge healthcare system - we just don’t pay in a way that leads to giving people access to care. Moving to a different financing mechanism has nothing to do with raising new money. Vermont’s businesses currently pay 80% of all private insurance premiums. Most of these businesses are large employers; they pay the lion share of health insurance. Individuals who fall sick also pay a big chunk - through roughly $800 million in out-of-pocket costs. The Governor’s task at hand was to shift private payments to a more equitable, public financing mechanism. His task was not to find new money.

Great argument.

The HCHR Campaign does not believe that the Governor showed sufficient commitment to identifying alternative public financing mechanisms for a service that is already being paid for by all of us. Over the past three years the Administration developed its financing ideas - the same ideas the Governor now claims make public financing impossible - behind closed doors, without public participation or broader input from the many experts in universal healthcare financing, but in close consultation with a select group of businesses. The Governor missed the deadline set by Act 48 to submit a financing plan in early 2013, thus failing to meet its obligations under the law. The proposals the Governor has presented now are not based on the principle of equity. By shielding big businesses from continuing their payments for healthcare at the current level, the governor made his financing plan both inequitable and unviable. An equitable financing plan would have shown a clear path to sufficient and sustainable funding by maintaining big businesses current payments for healthcare costs and thus avoiding a cost-shift to small businesses and individuals.

The Governor’s misguided decision was a completely unnecessary result of a failed policy calculation that he pursued without democratic input. Without formally repealing Act 48 and without a democratic process of deliberation, the Governor’s unilateral decision is completely inexcusable and unacceptable. A decision of this magnitude requires the voices of the people of Vermont to be heard.

So, just as with ObamaCare, Gruber was hired to hammer fiscal nails into single payer's coffin. Hopefully there is a circle of hell deep enough for him.

Should be interesting. Maybe if they hound Shumlin like the fractivists hounded Cuomo.

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nippersdad's picture
Submitted by nippersdad on

Vermont apparently has the highest rate of illicit drug use:

https://www.yahoo.com/travel/what-every-state-in-the-u-s-is-worst-at-105...

They say that this may be because of a comparatively elderly population, but that would only serve to make single payer even more of a necessity.

OT, there is a lot of interesting stuff in that article: I salute you all from the state with the least integrity in the Union! Booyah! We win! We are number one!.........

Submitted by lambert on

I don't think it's elders. Off the top of my head, it's a lot of dead end small towns with no jobs, and a long winter, combined with a lot of physical labor that leads to injuries, especially back injuries: Logging, fishing, construction, warehouse work, etc.

nippersdad's picture
Submitted by nippersdad on

I had always heard that it was where the NE went for summer and winter sports; lots of money. And cheese. I had no idea that is was so dreary for the average person.

I have only been to Vermont once, on a skiing trip. We left NY in a blizzard, somewhere in Mass. it started to rain, and by the time we got there the snow was all gone. Good, if rather muddy, hiking opportunities. It then snowed after we left.

And that is about the sum total of my knowledge about Vermont.

Isn't ANYONE having any fun ANYWHERE? This really sucks.

Submitted by lambert on

It's never good to be poor, but rural poverty is no picnic. It's not idyllic, and there's a lot of it in Maine. Not the same as being a farmer, which implies having some capital and owning your land, even if the work is hard and won't make you rich.

Plenty of people are leading fulfilling lives here, but it's hard to do what, if you're not a saint, when you're poor. I've been near the abyss a few times, and it could happen at any moment again, but so far I have always escaped.

The test is bad teeth. If you have bad teeth, you're irrevocably poor. That's why it was important to me to get my teeth fixed in Thailand. I literally couldn't have afforded it here, and wouldn't have risked our dental care anyhow.