Vermont Nears Passage of Single-Payer Health Care; Rally May 1

In what could be a model for Massachusetts, New Hampshire and the nation, Vermont is poised to enact single-payer health care. A march and rally that will be held on May 1 in Montpelier is part of a mass movement that has earned the support of Vermont governor Peter Shumlin, and the state legislature. Shumlin lives in Putney, near Brattleboro. The insurance industry is working to kill the movement's momentum in the legislature.

On May 1, 2010 thousands of people marched to the Vermont statehouse. "If Vermont passes single-payer health care, I will meet with President Obama and say, 'If Vermont can do this, so can the nation,'" U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders told the marchers. These photos were taken that day. In the second photo, a blind man uses a cane while he marches.

Last year, more than 44,000 Americans died because the U.S. does not have universal health care, which Canada, Cuba, Europe, Japan, and every other rich nation has. That's according to congressman Alan Grayson, who retired last year.

Organizers of the May 1 march and rally are asking the public to put up a painterly poster in public places. The poster is available at:

The march will begin at City Hall at 11 a.m. The noon rally will be at the statehouse lawn. They are are being organized by the Vermont chapter of

(This is an updated version of an article that was published on 12/10/2010.)

photos by Eesha Williams

To enlarge a photo, click on it, then scroll down and click "See full-size image."


Why Canadian single payer is better than American insurance run

This is the real story. Here are the facts as to why Canada's single payer medical system, far from perfect, is dramatically better than America's insurance run system:

1. It is cheaper even though it takes care of the entire population, or 10% of GDP compared with 15% in the U.S.

2. Canada's health care system which fully looks after 34 million people costs roughly what the private-sector health insurance companies make in profits in the United States looking after less than half the population for excessive premiums.

3. Canada's health care system is cheaper still if the litigation costs of fighting over medical bills is eliminated as it is when the government is the sole-insurer. Estimates are that court costs and judgments add another 2 to 3% of GDP to the total medical tab in the United States.

4. Canada's health care system enhances economic productivity. Workers diagnosed with illnesses can still change employers and be employable because they are not rejected by employers with health benefits due to pre-conditions.

5. Infant mortality and maternal mortality are both much lower in Canada and Europe than in the U.S. becaue of insurance run health care.

6. Outcomes with major illnesses, such as cancer and heart disease, are better in Canada than they are in the United States.

7. Longevity is better in Canada and Europe than in the U.S.

8. No emergency is neglected in Canada, despite the lies you may have heard.

9. Some elective procedures may take longer if compared to the blue-ribbon U.S. health care of the advantaged and rich, but that's not comparing apples with apples.

More appropriately, the care of the overall population should be what is compared, and there are tens of millions of Americans who are uninsured or uninsurable, and thus, those Americans are denied the health care they need which they would get and be guaranteed in Canada.

10. No one in Canada goes broke because of medical bills whereas the AARP estimates half of personal bankruptcies are due to unpaid, high medical bills.

11. Canadians are able to choose any physician and to seek multiple opinions of other physicians, while most Americans with insurance run health care are limited to a restricted, small, no choice network of physicians.

12. Canadian doctors and nurses are better trained than American counterparts and U.S. physicians must study for at least a year in order to qualify to practice in Canada.

13. Drugs made and invented in the United States are cheaper in Canada, Europe and Japan because our communal health care means volume discounts and savings passed along to society. Americans are overpaying massively.

14. Americans are being cheated by a patchwork quilt system, where the highest risk people - veterans, the indigent and the elderly - are insured by governments but the "gravy" i.e. young, healthy people are the only ones handed over to private insurance companies.

44,000 Americans die from insurance run health care

This actually comes from a Harvard University study, which that one American dies every 12 minutes (almost 45,000 a year) because they don't have adquate access to health care.

I, and I'm sure every one of the 95% of Canadians who are satisfied with our single payer health care system, congratulate Vermont on being so wise as to adopt the system that Canada has had for 45 years, since 1966, and which we would never change for your current American insurance run and insurance rationed system.

Single payer health care costs 60% of what insurance run health care does, and Canadians live four years longer than Americans because all Canadians, young or old, regardless of income, have access to health care, while 38% of Americans don't have adequate access.... the reason why almost 45,000 Americnas a year die who would be alive if they were Canadians, or soon, Vermonters.

From Ellen Scwartz of

From Ellen Scwartz of


We made a plan for signature gathering on the petition that we'll be presenting to the Legislature on Jan. 5.

We have people committed to petition at the following dates, times and places (all in Brattleboro). These folks would love to have some help. If you can volunteer any time for this, it would be great. Please contact Kate if you can help out, letting her know the date, time and place that works for you!

Thanks --Ellen

Saturday 12/11 -- in front of the Winter Farmers' Market (River Garden) or Post Office --any time between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Wednesday 12/15 -- in front of Dottie's/Experienced Goods on Flat St. -- any time between noon and 4 p.m.

Wednesday 12/15 -- in front of the food coop -- any time after 12.30 p.m.

Saturday 12/18 -- in front of the Winter Farmers' Market (River Garden) or Post Office --any time between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Wednesday 12/22 -- in front of Dottie's/Experienced Goods on Flat St. -- any time between noon and 4 p.m.

For those of you from the

For those of you from the Brattleboro area who want to go to the Jan. 5 rally in Montpelier we will be leaving from the Marlboro College Tech Center in Brattleboro at 9:30 a.m. Let me know if you want to be a passenger or can be a driver. I am organizing rides.

Richard Davis RN
Executive Director
Vermont Citizens Campaign for Health
P.O. Box 1481
Brattleboro, VT 05302
Phone: 802-251-0915
Fax: 802-251-9996

Vermont Single-Payer

How lucky Vermonters are to live in a state where such a thing can be contemplated!

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