Vermont Health Care Debate

By Rachel Kent
Fox 44 News
Jan 12, 2010

There was a heated debate Tuesday night in Vermont state capitol over health care reform. It attracted hundreds of people. It was a three hour debate over whether or not there should be a state run health care plan.

The group known as *Healthcare Is a Human Right Campaign* came to Vermont's statehouse Tuesday night, armed with more than 3,000 signatures. The signatures support a bill for single payer or state-run health care.

We feel like healthcare is a human right and whatever bill passes the house or senate have to have that as an underlying factor," health care activist Amy Lester said.

People shared testimonials and why they believe the United States is in dire need of health care reform.

We don't qualify and we've been turned down over and over again," Vermont resident Ann Gibbs said.

The United State's Senate voted on a bill excluding the public option or a federally run health care system.

Vermonters want state legislators to take health care reform a step further.

 "Health care should be treated as both a human right and part of out economic infrastructure. You cant have a healthy economy without healthy citizens," Vermont resident Ron Palcer said at Tuesday's hearing.

While those in favor of a state run health care plan may have been louder, opponents tried to make their point.

"In these economic times we cant afford more taxes and that's exactly what this will do," opponent Joeie Clark said.

Guest speaker Vermont Independent Senator Bernie Sanders says states need to take the lead on healthcare reform.

 "My view is at the end of the day it will be the states that will lead this country towards a rational healthcare system not Washington," Sanders said.

Vermont state legislators say no decisions were being made Tuesday night. Vermont Legislators are hoping whatever happens in Washington D.C individual states will keep the right to decide what healthcare system will work best.