Advocates of a single payer health care system in Vermont are taking their case to the public -- hoping to build support outside the state capital.
One of the sessions was held in South Royalton, sponsored by the National Lawyers Guild at Vermont Law School. It drew only supporters of single payer, a system that would scrap the current employer-based system.
Rep. Sarah Copeland-Hanzas, a Democrat from Bradford and a member of the House health care committee, said as a for-instance, "If we can figure out how to make it work, we would roll the medical claims side of workers comp into a health care package."
Peg Franzen of the Vermont Workers Center says single payer was a natural extension of her group's 2008 "Health Care is a Human Right" campaign. "Our expectations are that we expect that Vermont will lead the way and that we will get health care as a public good," she told Channel 3.
Single payer advocates say universal health care need not cost more -- if the system is made efficient. For instance, this man said he had to go through a gauntlet of doctor appointments before he finally got a new hearing aid.
Copeland-Hanzas said, "We are often caught up with the notion that something that's higher quality is going to cost more. And in the health care world what we have seen is, time and time again, that cost does not equate to quality, that actually more care is not better care."
Single payer advocates plan to hold more small-group meetings around the state to explain their strategy to have the first of its kind in the country by 2014. It's all predicated on the survival of the Democrats' national health care affordability act.
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