Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Live from Montpelier! Gov. Shumlin signs single payer bill

Watch history in the making as Vermont nudges the nation a little closer to an equitable health care system by passing a bill setting their state on the path to single payer health care.

You can watch Governor Peter Shumlin sign the bill into law live and online from the Vermont Statehouse in Montpelier. The signing takes place tomorrow, Thursday, May 26, at 9 a.m. eastern, and will be streamed here.

This isn't the end of the fight for single payer in Vermont, though. State agencies have to develop a plan to finance the bill, including setting any co-pays for services, and the scope of coverage and has to be determined as well. The plan also needs a waiver from the Obama administration to go into effect.

Nevertheless, between the state's governor, many legislators, and grassroots activists (especially the Vermont Workers Center and Vermont Health Care for All's Vermont for Single Payer campaign, there's a strong commitment to making this bill work.

It's clear that the biggest steps forward toward health care justice will be taken on the state and city level, where the needs and voices and votes of constituents outweigh the greed of the insurance and health care industry. Vermont's determination to provide the best and most accessible health care for the largest number of its citizens should give us all hope that the other state-level single-payer initiatives will get onto the law books as well. And, of course, if you live in a state with a single payer campaign, get involved!

No comments: