2014 Legislative Priorities: Health Care

Moving Health Care Forwards, Not Backwards

Most Vermonters recognize that our state has work to do when it comes to replacing our current for-profit health care system with one that’s affordable, high-quality, and available to all.

Proponents of our broken health care system have signaled that during the legislative session, they’re planning to grandstand, obstruct and pull media stunts to try and scare legislators into rolling back the important steps our state is planning to take against them. In order to defend all Vermonters’ chance to receive quality, affordable health care, VPIRG’s teaming up with partners like Vermont Businesses for Social responsibility to go toe-to-toe with the professional lobbyists bent on protecting insurance company profits, not people.

Sunlight in Health Care

Vermonters deserve to know whether your premium dollars are spent on actual care, or just footing the bill for a health insurer’s excessive “administrative” costs.  In 2012, VPIRG led the charge for a groundbreaking law that requires health insurance companies to disclose the amount of money they spend on non-health care costs like campaign contributions, lobbying, advertising. In 2013, we published our analysis of the data on how often—and for what reasons—Vermonters’ have their coverage yanked by their health insurer.

But there’s a lot more information you deserve to have when you’re making a health care decision—like comparable prices for a specific medical procedures, for instance.

A Dental Law to Smile About

Every year, the unaffordable cost of dental care stops 70,000 Vermont adults from receiving the treatment they need. And to make matters worse, nearly half of all dentists in Vermont will reach retirement age within the next decade.

To help fix these two big problems, VPIRG has partnered with allies at Vermont Oral Health for All to press for a new law so you can visit a licensed dental practitioners for routine procedures (like fillings). Just as nurse practitioners revolutionized doctors’ offices, licensing dental practitioners is a win-win way to lower the cost barrier to dental care and ensure there are enough dental professionals to accommodate Vermonters in all corners of the state.