Members of the grassroots Healthcare Is a Human Right campaign and the VT Migrant Farmworker Solidarity Project cheered on Tuesday, May 3, as the joint house senate committee voted to accept a reconciled version of the universal healthcare bill, H.202, which removed a provision excluding undocumented workers from health care coverage. Observers credit Vermonters’ unhesitating and unflinching demand that “universal means everyone” for turning a political hot potato into a victory.
“This is a huge victory for our state, and it only happened because of the thousands of Vermonters who have been working together to make their voices heard and demand their human rights,” said Peg Franzen, President of the Vermont Workers’ Center, which launched the Healthcare Is a Human Right Campaign in 2008 to change what is politically possible in healthcare reform. “Everyone has a human right to healthcare, simply by virtue of being human. That’s what universal healthcare is all about,” said Franzen.