Vermont has been in the national spotlight lately, and not just for legalizing gay marriage. On March 17, the Obama administration held one of five "Regional Forums on Health Reform" at the University of Vermont's Davis Center. Seven Days political columnist Shay Totten Twittered the event while I interviewed protesters who rallied outside in support of "single payer" healthcare policy. The protesters heard from nurses, policy experts and local activists, among others.
Now organizers with the Vermont Workers' Center and the UVM student group Students for Peace & Global Justice are putting on their own healthcare summit. This Friday, April 10, from 3:30 to 6 p.m., six speakers will convene at the Billings Lecture Hall/CC Theater for a "Health Care Is a Human Right" panel discussion. The panel coincides with two screenings of Michael Moore's Sicko (tonight at 6 p.m. in Terrill 308 and tomorrow at 7 p.m. in Lafayette 403).
Friday's event includes the following speakers:
- A rep from the Vermont Workers' Center
- Dr. Marvin Malek
- UVM Anthropology Lecturer Larry Ziegler-Otero
- Sarah Hoffert, UVM Center for Health & Wellbeing
- Bronwyn Fleming-Jones '09, Public Affairs Intern at Planned Parenthood of Northern New England
- Sandra Schlosser, healthcare advocate
Ryan Winnick, a senior English Literature and Film and Television Studies major who volunteers at the workers' center, says the panel is an appropriate follow-up to Obama's regional healthcare forum. Winnick hopes Friday's event will inspire her fellow students to attend a May 1 health care rally at the Statehouse.
Winnick, 21, insists that healthcare policy affects students even if they don't realize it yet. "If healthcare isn't universal and our job security is threatened," she explains, "reform is the only plausible tactic."