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The Vermont Breakthrough: How A People's Movement Led to the Country's First Universal Health Care Law

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Author(s): 
Healthcare Is a Human Right Campaign, Vermont Workers' Center
Publication Date: 
May, 2011

As a result of a grassroots people's movement for the human right to healthcare, Vermont has become the first state in the country to pass a law for a universal, publicly financed healthcare system that commits to providing healthcare as a public good. Governor Shumlin signed the Act for a Universal and Unified Health System into law on May 26, 2011.

In this presentation, the Healthcare Is a Human Right Campaign, run by the Vermont Workers' Center, discusses the significance of the new law and explains how this breakthrough was achieved. The presentation also provides a human rights assessment of the law's key provisions and sets out the challenges that lie ahead as Vermont prepares the transition from a market-based to a public healthcare system.

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