State House Report March, 5th

Senate Health and Welfare Committee Votes 5-0 in Favor of Universal Primary Care

The Vermont Senate on Friday took a step toward creating a Universal Primary Care system, giving unanimous approval to a bill just hours before the Crossover deadline.

Committee Chair Sen. Claire Ayer and Sen. Dick McCormack of the Senate Health and Welfare CommitteeS.53 envisions giving all Vermonters access to primary care services by 2022 and lays out a detailed timeline over the next several years that has various health care stakeholders come to the table with detailed plans on how to create this program – and how to integrate it with Vermont’s other health care reform efforts, such as the Blueprint for Health and the move to a fee for outcomes model of reimbursement.

Thank you to the members of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee for supporting this bill: 
Sen. Claire Ayer of Addison County
Sen. Virginia ‘Ginny’ Lyons of Chittenden County
Sen. Ann Cummings of Washington County
Sen. Dick McCormack of Windsor County
Sen. Debbie Ingram of Chittenden County
VBSR supports creating a Universal Primary Care System in Vermont as the first step toward building a fair and sustainable Vermont health care system that achieves universal coverage, cost savings, and portability of health care that is not tied to an individual’s job.
  • Rising health Care costs are hurting the business community in Vermont – per employee health insurance can cost as much as $15,000 a year.
  • Universal Primary Care delivers a service to all Vermonters and is a manageable piece of the health care system to begin reforms.
  • Investing in primary care results in better health outcomes and can reduce long-term health care spending. Every successful health care system in the world began with primary care as the foundation.
Read VBSR’s testimony from earlier this session on the business case for health care reform.

Read VtDigger’s coverage of Friday’s vote in support of Universal Primary Care.

ACTION ITEM: Your state senators needs to hear from you! S.53 could move to the Senate floor following the Town Meeting break! Contact your senators today and let them know you support S.53. Find out how to contact your senators today.

Register for Early Childhood Day at the State House

Is your business concerned with the cost and availability of child care in Vermont? Interested in working with other business leaders and advocates to make the system better?
Register today for Early Childhood Day at the Vermont State House – March 14, 2018. Join the Vermont Early Childhood Advocacy Alliance, Let’s Grow Kids, and Building Bright Futures for the 24th Annual Early Childhood Day in Montpelier. For more information and registration, visit here.

House Considering Carbon Pricing & the ESSEX Plan Proposal

Last month, the House Natural Resources Committee voted in favor of directing the non-partisan Joint Fiscal Office to study the potential costs and benefits of The ESSEX Plan and other carbon pricing proposals.

This study is now in the House Appropriations Committee and may be included in the state budget. Town meeting week is a critical time to let legislators know what you want them to prioritize in the second half of the legislative session. We hope you’ll take a minute to catch your legislator(s) at your town meeting or polling place and urge them to support funding for an independent study of carbon pricing.

Read the ESSEX Plan – a proposal to reduce electricity costs by putting a price on carbon pollution.