After a rally with more than 1,000 people at the Capitol, Vermont in 2011 became the first state in the country to pass single payer health care legislation. (Photo: Vermont Workers’ Center)

‘We Won’t Back Down’: Vermont Protesters Launch Sit-In At Statehouse Demanding Universal Health Care ‘Now!’

Protesters occupied the House Chambers at the Vermont Statehouse Thursday afternoon, saying they refuse to leave until legislators meet their demands to respect the first-ever U.S. law for universal, publicly-funded health care, won by social movements nearly four years ago yet stymied by the governor last month.

The demonstration is a response to the mid-December announcement by Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin that he seeks to unilaterally abandon the universal health care plan, passed into law in 2011 under Act 48 and named Green Mountain Care, even though the governor used the groundbreaking legislation to bolster his election. […]

More than 50 nation-wide organizations, including Grassroots Global Justice Alliance and Jobs With Justice, signed an open letter declaring, ‘Governor Shumlin’s announcement is a blow not only for the determined people of Vermont but also for those who looked with hope and renewed energy at the successful effort to advance publicly financed, single-payer healthcare and to create a more just society.’ […]

— Sarah Lazare, Common Dreams

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