Monday, May 2, 2011

Protestors fight immigrant exclusion in health bill - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

While lawmakers Monday hammered out differences on health care legislation in the Statehouse, supporters rallied outside -- throwing a last minute glitch into the works. They want illegal workers covered under the plan. But that could put the state at odds with the federal government.

In the final legislative days, single payer advocates rallied, speaking for people not here -- foreign workers in Vermont illegally.

"To me universal means universal and those without status should be covered," said Robert Appel with the Vermont Human Rights Commission.

There are an estimated 2000 workers without documents in Vermont. Many work on dairy farms. Without them, officials say the state's dairy industry would die, and advocates say these illegal workers should be given coverage under the state's move to a single payer health care plan, arguing it will avoid more costly emergency care later that people with insurance end up paying anyway.

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