Vermonters won two big health care victories in the State House this week.
The big health reform bill (H.559) passed the Senate by a vote of 20-7. The bill lays the groundwork for Vermont’s health insurance exchange, a requirement of the federal Health Care Law, and moves us one step closer to a health care system that is both universal and affordable. We’re in the home stretch! The bill now heads to the final stage of lawmaking: a “conference committee” comprised of House and Senate members who will work out the differences of House and Senate versions of the bill and secure final passage.
House members also stood up for Vermonters in a big way by passing S.200 on Tuesday, with a vote of 135-1! The bill will require health insurers to publicly report on the claims they deny, along with a host of other financial information including CEO salaries, board compensation, and marketing expenses. It’s a huge win for patients and will help us hold insurance companies accountable for how they spend our premium dollars. Being sick is hard enough, without having to spend hours on the phone with your insurance company or dodging bill collectors for something that should have been covered. Check out the VPR story on the bill, here.
S.200 heads back to the Senate for final approval this week. With this final vote, they have the chance to dramatically increase transparency and consumer protection in our system.