'New Politics' Features NESRI Case Study on the Breakthrough in Vermont
Read, share and discuss the case study on the website of New Politics.
From the Introduction:
On May 26, 2011, Vermont became the first U.S. state to enact a law for a universal, publicly financed health care system. As Governor Shumlin signed Act 48, he set Vermont on course toward implementing a single payer system by 2017.
This first breakthrough in the decades-long struggle for universal health care in the United States—after thwarted or pared down federal efforts by the Clinton and Obama administrations—alters the landscape of health reform advocacy in this country and has the potential to set in motion a state-based dynamic for progressive reforms. National and state commentators have compared Vermont to the province of Saskatchewan, which half a century ago spearheaded the establishment of universal health care in Canada.
The passage of Vermont’s universal health care law is equally significant for the development of progressive activism in times of federal and state austerity measures, dismantling of the public sector amidst a rising wave of privatization, and a roll-back of labor rights that have trapped progressives in a defensive mode. The Vermont breakthrough was made possible by an emerging human rights movement, based on intensive grassroots organizing and principled policy advocacy, and as such could serve as a model for progressives elsewhere in devising proactive strategies for advancing economic and social rights.