by Robert Maynard
The Vermont Workers Center just released a Press Release titled ‘Vermont Can Lead the Way: “Healthcare is a Human Right” Campaign Gears Up for Next Step on the Road Toward Universal Healthcare.’ Part of the release was the inevitable crowing about leading the way in pushing for complete government control of our health care system:
Saturday, May 26 marked the one-year anniversary of Act 48, the groundbreaking legislation in Vermont to implement a universal healthcare system grounded in human rights principles.
“It’s a time to celebrate and it’s a time to gear up for the next critical steps toward fully realizing our right to healthcare,” said Vermont Workers’ Center (VWC) President Peg Franzen.
According to the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative, “human-rights based grassroots approach” of the VWC’s “Healthcare is a Human Right” campaign was critical to this breakthrough, and VWC’s members say it will take the same, going forward.
As already reported here and here, there is a well funded national astroturf movement behind the push for government controlled health care and this movement sees Vermont as a tip of the spear for this effort. This is a sentiment that the Workers Center release bears out:
Vermont’s universal breakthrough has inspired people throughout the country to take up the struggle on a state level. To mark the one-year anniversary and the road ahead, the “Healthcare is a Human Right” campaign has created a new video detailing the story of the grassroots organizing that led to the healthcare victory, and has launched a new phase of the campaign, calling for national support through an initiative called “Vermont Can Lead the Way” that seeks endorsers of the campaign all over the country (www.healthcareisahumanright.org).
“If Vermont can actually implement universal healthcare, they can lead the way for states across the country to do the same,” said Haslam. “People in Maryland, California, Oregon, New York, Pennsylvania, Maine and an increasing number of states are working together on using strategies from the Healthcare is a Human Right campaign in their states.” More information can be found at www.healthcareisahumanright.org
Given the central role in pushing for health care “reform” being claimed by the Healthcare is a Human Right campaign, it might be a good idea to take a look at where they plan to go with this. Their Press Release offers a bit of a glimpse: “We got this far through thousands of people of Vermont coming together to challenge the notion of health care as a private good to be bought and sold,” said Franzen, “and we’re going to keep pushing ahead until our human right to health care is realized!”
In other words, if the premise that healthcare is a human right is to be taken seriously, then achieving a full blown single payer system is not the end of the road. The intention is not merely to have government take over the paying for health care, but to “challenge the notion of health care as a private good to be bought and sold.” Government must not only be in charge of the payment for health care, but also its delivery if the left’s goal of a “human right to health care is realized.” I have long thought this to be the end goal of health care is a human right advocates, but have only seen it in writing in a select few publications. The argument put forward is that if health care is a human right, then it cannot be a commodity to be bought and sold. A government run single payer system has been looked upon by those who hold this perspective as a mere stepping stone for a complete government take over of all aspects of our health care system. This means a government takeover of the delivery part of our health care system and the abolition of the private practice of delivering health care services as we now know it.
It would be interesting to find out if the Workers Center’s allies like Peter Shumlin and the Democrats who pushed Act 48 through the legislator share their vision of where the path of health care “reform” is heading. Given that they are unwilling to even let the Vermont voters know what the costs and items covered in the proposed reform are before the election, it is not likely that they would be any more up front in telling us where they are ultimately headed. We should thank the Vermont Workers Center for at least being forthright and honest over where they see this heading.