VPIRG statement on Governor’s announcement halting moves toward universal Health Care

On Wednesday Governor Shumlin announced that after running the numbers, now is not the right time to move forward with a publicly financed universal health care system. The news came the day before the administration was set to present a proposed benefits package to the Green Mountain Care Board. Governor Shumlin said that he made the decision after seeing the final economic modeling report late last week. Based on the Administration’s projections moving forward with Green Mountain Care would have created to heavy a burden on Vermonters in the current economic environment.

VPIRG has been a leading voice on health care reform for the last 40 years, and was one of the primary organizations advocating for the passage of Act 48 and a universal health care system.  In recent years VPIRG has also helped pass legislation that draws back the curtain on insurance claim denials, as well as laws to make health care more affordable for Vermonters.

VPIRG Consumer Protection Advocate Falko Schilling commented on the announcement saying “The need for meaningful health care reform does not go away with this announcement, neither does our commitment to ensure all Vermonters have high quality affordable health care. Too many of us cannot access the care we need, and over the coming weeks and months we will continue to advance solutions to fix our broken health care system.”

Governor Shumlin said that the Administration plans to move forward with reforms that would improve Vermont’s health care system. These efforts included strengthening the Green Mountain Care Board’s cost containment efforts, pursuing a waiver that would allow the state to make needed changes to our payment system, greater funding for efforts to better coordinate care, and bring in Vermont Information Technology Leaders under the oversight of the Green Mountain Care Board.