Medicare for All has evolved from a progressive pipe dream, to a central plank in Sen. Bernie Sanders 2016 presidential campaign, to a mainstream policy idea embraced by nearly every leading 2020 Democratic presidential candidate. Now a new group has emerged to make the case for single payer health care. Business for Medicare for All was started by former health insurance executive Wendell Potter and MCS Industries Chairman and CEO Richard Master, who say the existing health insurance system costs companies more than a single-payer plan would. The two want to uncouple health insurance from the workplace, making health care more available to independent contractors and others. Dan Barlow, the organization’s executive director, discusses the evolution of the movement for single payer health care and lays out the plan to sign up 10,000 businesses to advance the cause. Barlow was the former policy manager for Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility and a longtime journalist. (September 11, 2019 broadcast)
Dan Barlow, executive director, Business for Medicare for All
In January 2019, public interest advocates weighed in on the Vermont Conversation with their priorities for the 2019 legislative session in Vermont. Five months later, they return to discuss what happened: who won, who lost, what’s still in play on key legislation including banning plastic bags, $15 minimum wage, paid family leave, medical monitoring for toxics and campaign finance reform. (June 5, 2019 broadcast)
Paul Burns, executive director, Vermont Public Interest Research Group
Will 2019-2020 bring Vermont paid family leave, $15 minimum wage, smart justice reform, stronger protection from toxic chemicals and clean water? These are some of the goals of advocates for social, economic and environmental justice who have descended on the Vermont State House pressing for change on these and other issues in the new legislative biennium. We hold a roundtable discussion with leaders from some of Vermont’s key advocacy groups to hear about their priorities and strategies for the 2019-2020 legislative session. (January 9, 2019 broadcast)
Can the power of state procurement be used to give incentives to companies that create livable wage jobs and good benefits? We discuss legislation that would level the playing the field for socially responsible businesses. (March 29, 2017 broadcast)
Dan Barlow, public policy manager, Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility
A May Day special live from the Vt State House on Vermont’s hidden workers: Undocumented Mexican workers Oliver Lopez and Danilo Lopez talk about their life in Vermont, their role in the economy and the importance of being able to drive a car legally. We are also joined by Brendan O’Neil of Migrant Justice and Mary Gerisch, president of the Vermont Worker’s Center. Dan Barlow of VBSR also updates us on pending legislation.