Gov. Shumlin releases ambitious health care bill

Tuesday, Gov. Shumlin laid out his plan for making dependable, affordable health care a reality in Vermont.  This is an historic moment for our state and is the most ambitious plan in the nation for implementing the federal health care law passed last year.

Here are the take-homes:

  • The proposal is strong. It’s a great first step on the road to a patient-centered, universal health system that will get you the care you need, when you need it, at a price you can afford.
  • Cost control is a priority. The plan will help reign in costs, take the profits out of the system, streamline administration and eliminate many of the complex coverage restrictions that so many Vermonters currently face.
  • It still needs work. We need to strengthen the bill’s provisions dealing with consumer protection, public input and regulatory oversight.  These improvements are critical in order to meet the goals of universal access, equity and transparency that we laid out when this project started.

To meet our goals, the governor’s plan needs to have stronger consumer representation in the decisions around costs & benefits under the new system.  It also needs to make sure that Vermonters get to weigh in on plans by insurance companies to raise rates, before they are approved.

We’ll be working closely with legislative leaders to strengthen the bill and make sure that it passes this year, and will keep you posted as the plan moves forward and on opportunities for you to make your voice heard.