May 20, 2013
Revealing Health Insurance Industry Secrets – Last year, VPIRG led the effort to require health insurers to disclose financial data and new information on the number and type of health claims they deny (click here to see what we found!). Thanks to the passage of another VPIRG-backed bill this year, Vermonters will soon be able to access the same data from Medicaid as well as private insurers. Enabling consumers to make side-by-side comparisons of health insurance plans (and the insurer’s track-record) is a huge step toward a more transparent health care system.…
May 20, 2013
Preparations are well under way to launch “Vermont Health Connect,” the virtual insurance marketplace required by the federal Affordable Care Act, so legislators and the administration spent much of the session considering how the transition would impact Vermonters who have subsidized insurance plans now. VPIRG urged policy makers to keep coverage consistent for those eligible for popular state programs like VHAP and Catamount.
In the end, our efforts were somewhat, but not entirely successful. The new law will ensure most low and middle income Vermonters are spared a significant rise in what they pay in health care premiums each month.…
May 20, 2013
The legislative session is over, and the results are in. Here at VPIRG, we’re celebrating the victories that our members helped to bring about. Thank you!
Of course, we didn’t win every fight. The Legislature failed to commit the necessary resources to weatherize our homes and businesses, for example. But we’re taking the time to celebrate the wins, reflect on the losses, and get to work building the grassroots support to carry us forward again, next year!…
March 25, 2013
The goal of S.152, which is headed to the Senate floor later this week, is simple: give you the heads-up when your health insurance company wants to raise your premiums. The bill, which earned approval from the Senate Appropriations committee on March 22, will make the process of reviewing proposed rate hikes both simpler and more transparent.
Currently, huge rate increases, such as Blue Cross Blue Shield’s currently proposed 24.4% rate increase on Catamount customers are subject to relatively no consumer input (to learn more about and submit comments on this rate increase, click here).…
May 8, 2012
The 2012 legislative session marked another busy and successful year in advocacy for the public interest. We came into the session with ambitious plans – from taking on the Oil and Gas Industry to ban fracking to initiating a campaign to require GMO labeling to standing up to health insurers and making sure they cover the medical care they should. We take our role as “Vermont’s Voice” in the State House seriously – bringing research and policy analysis, strong partnerships and principled organizing and advocacy to the fore.
August 16, 2011
Last month the Barre Development Review Board voted 6-0 to deny a local midwife’s request to operate a small office out of her home after hearing from neighbors who argued that “women — particularly pregnant women — would have difficulty safely backing out of (the midwife’s) driveway.” After hearing this, VPIRG invited our members to take action, and the response was overwhelming!
June 7, 2011
The 2011 legislative session was filled with victories on VPIRG-backed legislation across each of our program areas. With a new governor in office for the first time in eight years, our small state suddenly had opportunities to pass the kind of major policy initiatives that our friends in other parts of the country could only fantasize about. Our ambitious agenda heading into the session prioritized major campaigns promoting clean, local energy supplies, advancing affordable health care for all, defending recycling programs and demanding safe products and fair elections.…
May 26, 2011
With the signing of Green Mountain Care into law, Vermont has become a leader for the rest of the country to follow in ensuring all its citizens have access to affordable health care, though this is only the beginning of the battle.
May 19, 2011
Surrounded by a happy group of moms, kids and public health advocates, Gov. Peter Shumlin signed into law the Midwife Bill which will require insurance companies cover midwifery care, including home births. The legislation will make it possible for more women and families to choose safe and less costly home birth options when their pregnancies are considered to be low-risk.