Today, Healthcare is a Human Right supporters were back at the statehouse calling for transparency and participation in the process of developing equitable financing for Green Mountain Care.
Traven Leyshon of Middlesex, testified at an early morning joint House and Senate healthcare committee meeting, alongside other healthcare advocacy groups (See below for attached testimony). Leyshon called on legislators to pick up the Governor’s financing proposal, but pointed to the removal of Governor Shumlin’s tax loophole for the top 1% of Vermont income earners, and the need for a graduated payroll tax as necessary to ensure the system is based on individuals and businesses’ ability to pay. He also called out the lack of transparency reflected in the Governor’s report:
“It is almost impossible to discern what administrative cost savings and existing state funding the Governor’s calculations exclude, and why...we have come to conclude that it was highly inappropriate that the state’s contract with [economic modeler] Jonathan Gruber did not include delivery of the actual model and model interface that was used to calculate the Governor’s financing scenarios...We believe that the administration, legislators and the GMC Board should be given full access to this tool paid for by Vermont taxpayers, as should the general public.”
Later in the day, over twenty HCHR supporters joined Washington County State Senator Anthony Pollina for a press conference reiterating our demand for transparency and participation in the financing process. “I was here on January 8th, demanding our legislature move ahead with Act 48," said Anna Gebhardt of Burlington, referring to her participation in the Statehouse sit-in for universal healthcare, "and I’m back today to say that the healthcare crisis in our communities has not gone away - we must move forward with Green Mountain Care.” Click here for a short video of Anna's presentation from today.
Jess Fuller called on legislators to remain accountable to Act 48 by holding public hearings on the Governor’s financing proposal at times when working people can participate. Matt McGrath further emphasized the urgency to move ahead with the full implementation of a universal, equitably financed healthcare system, not piecemeal reform, and re-committed to organize and mobilize in our communities to ensure those impacted by this crisis have their voices heard.