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In Support of Single Payer Legislation: Vermont

Elizabeth Wiley, JD, MPH
AMSA Vice President of Internal Affairs
Last weekend, hundreds of health professions students from across the country gathered at the Vermont State House in Montpelier to rally in support of Vermont single payer legislation. The legislation, passed by the Vermont House last week and developed based on the work done by Dr. William Hsiao, would make the Green Mountain state the first in the nation to adopt single payer health care reform. In the crowd were many AMSA members and leaders.

“Vermont could be the health care shot heard around the world.”
--Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin

The rally began with Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) offering inspiring words of encouragement to a standing room only crowd. Gov. Peter Shumlin then spoke to the potential for single payer passage. Several student leaders then took the stage to offer insight on why we support universal health care.

As a medical student, it was heartening to see such an incredible number of schools represented – more than 120 institutions -- standing in solidarity with the citizens of Vermont in their effort to make history. From the University of Vermont School of Medicine to Harvard Medical School to University of New Mexico School of Medicine to Oregon Health & Sciences University, the message of the weekend was clear – if Vermont implements single payer, we will come.

The rally was sponsored by Physicians for a National Health Program and the American Medical Student Association.

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